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The state of Arizona, nicknamed The Grand Canyon State, was admitted into the union on Valentines Day, February 14, 1912. It was the last of the 48 contiguous states to achieve statehood. It was explored by Father Marcos de Niza who claimed it for Spain in 1539. It was not populated until 1752 when it was established as the Presidio of San Ignacio de Tubac (Fort Tubac), the first Spanish colonial fortress or garrison where Tubac, Arizona sits today. Today, Tubac is a southern Arizona community situated in Santa Cruz County, and its name is translated from the Uto-Aztecan word for “black water” or “low place,” depending on the pronunciation. It sits on the banks of the Santa Cruz River. The garrison was built to protect Spanish missions and settlements in the area from Apache raids. By 1804, there were eight Spanish settlers and and their families and 20 Indian families living inside the five square miles allotted to the presidio. Also inside 5,000 sheep, 1,000 sheep, 600 horses, 300 goats, 200 mules, and 15 donkeys as well as an annual harvest of 1,000 bushels of wheat and 600 of corn. It became part of Sonora, Mexico in 1822, but as part of the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, most of it was ceded to the United States in 1848, along with what would be New Mexico. In 1863, it became a separate territory. The rest of the state, the southern part of the state, was part of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Copper mining was Arizona’s primary industry, dating back to the discovery of copper in 1854 until the middle of the 20th century. In August of 1861, there was a three-day siege in Tubac, the first Spanish garrison, the conflict being between the male settlers in Tubac, Mexican bandits, the Confederate militia, and Apache warriors. More than 200 Apache warriors attacked the settlement on one side of the presidio while Mexican bandits attacked the other side. The bandits, however, stood down while the Apaches did the fighting. The settlers fought for three days before they sent a rider out with a message for reinforcements. Those reinforcements arrived in the form of about twenty-five Confederate Arizona militiamen who helped to repel the Apaches, though they blocked the escape route out of Tubac which the militiamen has planned to use. The food and water were soon running low, and in order to keep from dying of thirst or hunger, or worse yet, being as sacred by the Apache warriors, another skirmish took place, allowing the settlers as well as the militia to escape. The village was looted and burned even as the settlers made their way north to Tucson. The town remained empty until the late 1880s. The Grand Canyon, situated in the northwest corner of Arizona, is 277 miles long, a mile deep, and up to 18 miles wide. The Canyon was formed by the Colorado River over between 3 and 6 million years. Navajo Indians indigenous to Arizona were crucial to the victory of the allies in World War II as “Navajo Code Talkers,” who transmitted secret communications for the United States Marines after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Originally numbering only 29, they, along with Lakota (Sioux), Comanche, and Meskwaki code talkers, developed the code using their native languages. Eventually, there were approximately 500 Indian code talkers who transmitted encrypted secret messages. The code talkers were not allowed to talk about what they did in the war until 1968, when it was declassified. The capital of Arizona is Phoenix, and the state motto is “God enriches.” It is one of the Four Corners, the only place in the United States where four states touch one another. The other three states are New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. Approximately 25% of the state is Indian reservations in which 27 Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, Hopi, various Apache tribes, and the Pascua Yaqui. The Navajo Nation on tribal land, with more than 300,000 citizens, is the largest in the United States. With the exception of the Navajo Nation, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. The only other state which does not change its clocks on the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November is Hawaii.

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