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Arizona Centennial Minute: Statehood

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Arizona became a state on Valentine’s Day 1912.

That date was chosen because it marked a half-century since we’d become a territory…Arizona was made a Confederate Territory on February 14th in 1862.

You know, on Statehood day, there wasn’t a lot of fanfare …Gov. George

W. P. Hunt walked more than a mile to the State Capitol to sign the papers.

We do know the occasion of Arizona’s statehood got some brand new media attention…President Taft’s signing of the papers was the first time motion pictures were taken inside the White House.

One of the people waiting for the news was a three-year-old boy named

Barry Goldwater, who was going to be a ring-bearer at a local wedding…the bride and groom wanted to wait until Arizona was a state before getting married in it.

So many Arizonans had no idea their home’s status had changed from territory to state…In this rural part of the country, some people were too far from a town to hear the bells and whistles and firearms celebrating statehood.

On Feb. 14th, we’re all being asked the Centennial Commission to make a lot of noise again, at 2:14 in the afternoon.

In the past century, Arizona’s wide open spaces became a bit more crowded with copper, citrus, cotton, cattle, and tourism. And we’re still evolving. What will the state’s next century bring?

 

Fred DuVal is a long-time Arizona civic leader and businessman, who began his career under Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt. DuVal was captivated by Babbitt’s knowledge of Arizona and his peculiar habit of stopping in old cemeteries as they traveled the state, which deepened his interest in state history. DuVal has served in a number of public leadership roles including Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs under the Clinton Administration, as commissioner on the Arizona Commerce and Economic Development Commission, and as chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents responsible for guiding the growth of Arizona's three public universities. He co-authored the book Calling Arizona Home, with Lisa Schnebly Heidinger in 2005. The book describes who we are as Arizonans and the common threads that unite us across all parts of the state and all walks of life.
Lisa Schnebly Heidinger is a former journalist who authored her first book in 1995. Lisa became smitten with Arizona pioneers and history after hearing as a small child that the town of Sedona was named after her great-grandmother Sedona Schnebly. She began writing journals as a child, and moved from personal writing to newspaper reporting as a raw recruit at the Green Valley News in 1979. After four years, she broke into broadcast journalism, working seven days a week at KCEE radio while working weekends on KGUN-TV in Tucson. She opened the Northern Arizona bureau for KTVK-TV in 1989 and later moved to Phoenix. Today, she is an avid author, regular volunteer, and enjoys substitute teaching and traveling. In addition to "Calling Arizona Home," she is the author of the state's official Centennial commemorative book, "Arizona: 110 Years Grand."