Arizona History Timeline

By | May 12, 2022

Indigenous peoples from Central America and South America, as well as from Mexico, had already traveled north to this land now called Arizona, some 25,000 BC.

The legendary Apache and Navajo countries began arriving in Arizona in the 13th century, and somewhere between the 11th and 14th centuries, the Pueblo Indian culture built their mysterious prehistoric cliff dwellings across the American Southwest, much of which still exists. today.

Arriving in 1539 in search of the Seven Cities of Gold, Marcos de Nisa, a Franciscan friar from Spain, was the first European to explore Arizona; shortly after Francisco Vazquez de Coronado followed in his quest for gold.

The early settlements built here were for missionary purposes only. In 1775, the Spanish established Fort Tucson, and in fact, Tucson is one of the oldest cities in the United States of America.

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Following Mexico’s successful War of Independence from Spain in 1821, the Arizona region came under Mexican control. Then during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), both America and Mexico fought for control of Texas. When that war ended, (by convention) the booming US took possession of Texas, and what is now California, Nevada, Utah, smaller parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, and of course, Arizona.

In 1853, the remaining lands below the Gila River were also acquired by the US and became part of the New Mexico Territory, with Fort Whipple its capital. In 1865 Prescott became the capital, then Tucson; back to Prescott in 1877, and finally Phoenix in 1889.

As the prospectors rushed west to join the California Gold Rush of 1849, gold, silver and copper were also discovered in Arizona, which attracted most of the early settlers. Those frontiersmen (pioneers of sorts) faced many obstacles, including the war parties of the great Indian chiefs, Geronimo and Cochise.

In the 1870s, mining flourished as some of the largest copper deposits ever discovered were in Bisbee. Silver was found in the Tombstone, but that frontier town became famous (not for the silver), but for its western iniquity. Wyatt Earp and his brothers gained their rep after Gunfire at the Well Corral at Tombstone in 1881.

In the late 19th century, Brigham Young sent Mormons from Utah to settle in Arizona Territory; they subsequently founded several towns including Heber, Table Mountain, Safford, and Snowflake.

Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912, and the last adjacent state admitted to the Union. Following World War I and World War II, the population grew rapidly as the state’s agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries expanded and prospered.

…. Sing the song that’s in your hearts, sing the great Southwest, thank God, for Arizona, in a glorious dressed light. Lyrics from the state’s official song, “Arizona”, by Margaret Rowe Clifford.

Arizona Today

World famous for its stunning scenery, Arizona is home to many of the planet’s most spectacular natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon.. For those reasons and many more, warm weather tourism is one of Arizona’s most important industries.

Stylish and rustic, Arizona is a mix of Native American and Hispanic cultures, and represents the real flavor and essence of the American West. It is a favorite stop for golfers and vacationers, and remains one of the most popular retirement destinations in the world.

Arizona is home to some of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States. The Phoenix Capitol is home to 1.3 million people and continues to grow as both a vacation destination and an approved place to call home. The dry, hot climate is a favorite of the active senior citizen crowd.

Science and technology museums, vast nature preserves, and some of the world’s finest health resorts are located in Arizona. The city of Sedona is known for its famous energy vortexes, spiritual community and amazing red rock monuments. Tucson is known for its art galleries and southwestern architecture.

Arizona History