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220Mil BC
A long-snouted fish lived about this time. Fossils of the fish were later found in China. In 2015 a fossilized jawbone section of a related fish was found at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.
Links: USA, Arizona, Fish, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
190Mil BC
In 2008 scientists discovered numerous dinosaur footprints dating to this time at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument along the Utah and Arizona state border.
Links: Utah, Arizona, Dinosaur, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
6Mil BC
5Mil BC
The carving of the Grand Canyon dramatically accelerated during this period. By modern times it stretched 277-miles, 18 miles at its widest point, with depths up to 6,000 feet. In 2008 evidence suggested that the canyon could be 17 million years old.
Links: USA, Arizona, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2.8Mil BC
Volcanic eruptions in the area of Flagstaff, Arizona, began building a 16,000-foot volcano. It later became known as the San Francisco Mountain and in 2006 stood at 12,643-feet.
Links: Arizona, Volcano, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
740000 BC
The Red Mountain cinder cone at Flagstaff, Arizona, dated to this time.
Links: USA, Arizona, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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50000 BC
Arizona’s Barringer Crater was created about this time by a meteor. Named after mining engineer Daniel Barringer, it measures 3/4 of a mile wide and 640 feet deep and is suspected to have resulted from a meteor of about 100 feet in diameter. An iron meteor 100 feet in diameter and weighing about 60,000 tons crashed into the desert at about 45,000 miles per hour near Winslow, Az. A crater 4,000 feet wide and 570 feet deep was created. 85% of it melted and the rest broke into bits called Canyon Diablo meteorites.
Links: Arizona, HistoryBC, Meteor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
11000 BC
Scientists in 2005 said archeological sites dating to this time in Michigan, Canada, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Carolinas showed evidence, magnetic metal spherules, for a comet impact that may have wiped out North American mammoths and many other animals.
Links: Canada, North Carolina, Arizona, South Carolina, Michigan, New Mexico, Extinction, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
8000 BC
In 2007 workers digging at the future site of a Wal-Mart store in suburban Mesa, Az., unearthed the bones of a prehistoric camel that's estimated to be about 10,000 years old.
Links: Arizona, Wal-Mart, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1500 BC
The Basketmaker culture of the Ancient Pueblo People began about this time and continued until about AD 500 with the beginning of the Pueblo I Era. In 2014 archeologists discovered an ancient village built during the Basketmaker period with 50-70 pit houses organized in rings on about 66 acres Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park.
Links: Arizona, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1100
A volcano erupted about this time in the area of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Links: Arizona, Volcano     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1100
1300
About this period volcanic ash and molten rock sprayed the area of the Wupatki Basin near Flagstaff, Arizona for as long as 200 years.
Links: Arizona, Volcano     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1775 Sep 29
Mexican Captain Juan Bautista de Anza (39) and his party of Spanish soldiers and setters departed Tubac, Arizona, on a journey to the SF Bay Area following reports of a great river flowing into the bay. Anza led 240 soldiers, priests and settlers to Monterey. Jose Manuel Valencia was one of the soldiers. His son, Candelario Valencia, later served in the military at the Presidio and owned a ranch in Lafayette and property next to Mission Dolores. One of the soldiers was Don Salvio Pacheco.
Links: California, Mexico, SF, Arizona, SF Bay Area, Explorer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1776
Spanish explorers encountered the native Havasupai Indians in Arizona.
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1848
Mexico was forced to sell most of the territory that is now Arizona to the United States following its defeat in the Mexican-American war.
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1864
1865
Army Col. Kit Carson, directed by Brig. Gen. James Carleton, forced the move of some 9,000 Dineh Navajo from Canyon de Chelly in Arizona to the Bosque Redondo reservation near Fort Sumner, New Mexico. About half the people survived in what came to be known as the Long Walk. In 2006 Hampton sides authored “Blood and Thunder: An epic of the American West,” an account of the Navaho move.
Links: USA, Arizona, New Mexico, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1868
Navaho Indians living under confinement near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, were allowed to return to their homelands in Arizona following a visit by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Some 7,100 survivors of the 1864 Long Walk had been released onto a New Mexico reservation of 5,500 acres. The Navajo returned to Hopi land where 3.5 million acres, 1/6th of their former homeland, was returned.
Links: USA, Arizona, New Mexico, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1871 Apr 30
Anglo and Mexican vigilantes killed 118 Apaches at Camp Grant, Arizona, and kidnapped 28 children.
Links: USA, Arizona, AmerIndian, Atrocities     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1872 Oct 12
Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise (d.1874) signed a peace treaty with Special Indian Commissioner, General Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), in the Arizona Territory.
Links: USA, Arizona, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1880
Daniel Mooney, a prospector, plunged to his death and gave his name to Mooney Falls in Havasu Canyon, Arizona.
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1880
David King Udall (1851-1938), while living in Nephi, Utah, was called to be the Mormon bishop in St. Johns, Arizona, a small and primarily Hispanic Catholic community.
Links: USA, Utah, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1882
The US government confined the Havasupai Indians to a 518-acre reservation in Havasu Canyon, Arizona.
Links: USA, Arizona, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1884
David King Udall, the Mormon bishop in St. Johns, Arizona, was indicted on charges of unlawful cohabitation. He was never convicted, because his second wife lived in another town, and prosecutors could not locate her to compel testimony against him.
Links: USA, Utah, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1886 Apr 11
General Nelson A. Miles arrived at Fort Bowie, Ariz., to begin his assignment to subjugate or destroy a band of Apaches led by Geronimo.
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1886 Apr 27
A band of Apaches led by Geronimo attacked a ranch west of Fort Huachuca and killed 3 American citizens.
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1886 Sep 4
Elusive Apache leader Geronimo (1829-1909) surrendered to General Nelson A. Miles (1839-1925) at Skeleton Canyon, Ariz. This ended the last major US-Indian war.
Links: USA, Arizona, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1890 Jul 13
John C. "Pathfinder" Fremont (76), US explorer, governor (Arizona, California), died. He was buried in obscurity in Sparkill, NY. Fremont (b.1830) was the 1st Republican presidential candidate in 1856. In 1999 David Roberts authored "A Newer World: Kit Carson, John C. Freemont and the Claiming of the American West." In 2002 Tom Chaffin authored “Pathfinder: John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire.” In 2007 Sally Denton authored “Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Fremont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America.”
Links: USA, California, New York, Arizona, Explorer, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1892
The settlement of Goldfield, Arizona, got its start when low grade gold ore was found in the area between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mounts. Low-grade or not, a town soon sprang up and on October 7, 1893 it received its first official post office.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1894
Percival Lowell (1855-1916), American astronomer, built a private observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and commenced a decade long series of observations with emphasis on Mars. He "confirmed" water filled canals and proclaimed Mars the home of an advanced civilization.
Links: USA, Arizona, Astronomy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1901
Arizona ranchers Walter L. Vail (d.1906) and J.V. Vickers bought the 84-square-mile Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands 26 miles off Santa Barbara, Ca. The Vail & Vickers group sold the island to the US government for $30 million in 1986 and it became part of Channel Islands National Park.
Links: USA, California, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1912 Feb 14
Arizona became the 48th state of the Union, the final area of the continental United States to attain statehood.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1912 Nov 4
Arizona and Kansas granted women the right to vote. Wisconsin voted against suffrage for women.
Links: Kansas, Women, Arizona, Wisconsin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1923
Special Indian Commissioner H.J. Hagerman organized the first Navajo Tribal Council which gave him power to act for them in auctioning oil leases. The tribal government was established following the discovery of oil on its reservation.
Links: USA, Oil, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1927
The 4-story Monte Vista Hotel was built in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1929 Nov 30
Joan Ganz Cooney, television executive, was born in Phoenix, Az. She founded the Children's Television Workshop and was the mastermind behind "Sesame Street."
Links: USA, TV, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1930 Feb 18
Planet X (Pluto), the ninth planet of our solar system, was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh (1907-1997) at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. It is 2.76 billion miles (5,888 million km.) from the sun at the closest point of its orbit. Pluto was later designated a "dwarf planet."
Links: USA, Arizona, Pluto     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1930 Mar 13
The Lowell Observatory in Arizona announced Clyde Tombaugh’s Feb 18 discovery of a new planet, later named Pluto.
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1930
Adam Goettl invented the air cooler. The Goettl brothers began their adventure in 1926 in Mansfield, Ohio. Several years later, the brothers Adam, John, and Bill moved out west to Phoenix, Arizona, to seek opportunities during the Great Depression. Hence, the Phoenix-based Goettl Air Conditioning was founded and went on to become an internationally known pioneer in the mass production of evaporative coolers and a variety of other innovations in heating and cooling technology.
Links: USA, Technology, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1934 Jan 22
In Tucson, Arizona, a fire broke out at the Hotel Congress, where members of the Dillinger gang were staying. Firefighters salvaged baggage belonging to the gang and the next day one of the firefighters spotted one the gang’s mug shots in an issue of True Detective magazine. Within a few days 5 members of the Dillinger gang were arrested including John Dillinger and girlfriend Evelyn Frechette. In 2009 Elliot Gorn authored “Dillinger’s Wild Ride: The Year That Made America’s Public Enemy Number One.”
Links: USA, Arizona, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940
The population of Mesa, Arizona, was about 7,000. this roughly doubled in each of the next 5 decades and by 2008 Mesa numbered almost half a million residents.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1946 Jul 15
Linda Ronstadt (singer: group: The Stone Poneys: Different Drum; solo: Blue Bayou, You're No Good, When Will I Be Loved, It's So Easy, Ooh Baby Baby, Hurt So Bad; actress: Pirates of Penzance), was born in Tucson, Arizona.
Links: Theater, Arizona, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1946
In Arizona the Thunderbird School of Global Management was founded on Thunderbird Field, a former air-force base.
Links: USA, Arizona, Education     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953
In Colorado City, Arizona, a mass police raid against members of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) led to the arrest of scores of men and the separation of children from their families. FLDS members were avowed polygamists.
Links: USA, Utah, Arizona, Sociology, Religion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Mar
Dorothy Gay Howard (18) of Phoenix, Arizona, was reported missing. Her nude and battered body was found on April 8 along a creek in Boulder, Colorado. She was buried as Jane Doe until her identity was established by DNA testing in 2009.
Links: USA, Colorado, Murder, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Jul 17
Gen. Joseph Swing, appointed by Pres. Eisenhower to head the INS, began "Operation Wetback." Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.
Links: USA, California, Mexico, Arizona, EisenhowerD     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1956 Jun 30
A United DC-7 and a TWA Lockheed Constellation collided during a thunderstorm over the Grand Canyon (Arizona) killing all 128 people.
Links: USA, Air Crash, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1960
2005
The population of Phoenix, Az., grew from 664,000 to 3.6 million.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1963 Jan 1
In Arizona Betty Smithey (20) murdered Sandy Gerberick, a 15-month-old girl she had been babysitting. Smithey was convicted and sentenced to prison for life without the possibility of parole. In 2012 she was granted parole by the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency.
Links: USA, Murder, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1967 Feb 28
Henry Luce (68), American publisher, died in Phoenix. He and Briton Hadden (1898-1929) published the first issue of Time magazine on March 3, 1923. In 2010 Alan Brinkley authored “The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century.”
Links: USA, Arizona, Magazine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Apr 18
London Bridge was sold to a US oil company. It was later erected in Arizona.
Links: Britain, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Nov 5
Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), former Republican presidential candidate (1964), was re-elected in Arizona to the US Senate.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1970
Paolo Soleri (b.1919), Italian-American architect, led the ground breaking at Arcosanti, a model ecocity in the high Arizona desert. It was a prototype arcology designed for 5,000 residents, combining compact buildings with huge solar greenhouses on a 4,000 acre preserve about 60 miles north of Phoenix. Soleri projected a people density of 215 per acre vs. 72 in Delhi and 33 per acre in New York City. Since then some 6,000 architectural students have come to help with the building and learning about its design. The site attracted some 50,000 visitors every year.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971
Arizona indicted Weather Underground members John Allen Fuerst (25) and Roberta Brent Smith (25).
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971
An Arizona law under Gov. Jack Williams (1909-1998) outlawed secondary boycotts and harvest-time strikes, tools used by the growing UFW.
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1974
William K. Hartmann of the Planetary Science Inst. In Tucson, Arizona, presented research that proposed that the moon was formed from the remnants of a giant impact, wherein a planet about the size of Mars struck Earth. Alastair G.W. Cameron (1915-2005) of Harvard worked independently on the same idea.
Links: USA, Earth, Arizona, Astronomy, Mars, Moon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Jan 3
President Ford signed Public Law 93-620. This Act, written to enlarge the Grand Canyon National Park, also provided in Section 10 for the enlargement of the adjacent Havasupai Indian Reservation by 185,000 acres and designated a contiguous 95,300 acres of the enlarged National Park as a permanent traditional use area of the Havasupai Indians of Havasu Canyon, Arizona.
Links: USA, Arizona, AmerIndian, FordG     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1975 Jan 6
Raul Hector Castro (1916-2015) began serving as Arizona’s 14th governor. After two years he was selected by President Jimmy Carter to be ambassador to Argentina and held that post until 1980.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Jan 31
Ernesto Miranda, famous from the Supreme Court ruling on "Miranda Rights," was stabbed to death in Arizona.
Links: USA, Murder, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Mar 2
Bob Lurie (b.1929), real estate magnate, led a group to acquire ownership of the San Francisco Giants baseball club. Lurie closed the $8-million transaction with Arizona cattleman Arthur "Bud" Herseth as his 50-50 partner.
Links: USA, SF, Baseball, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Jun 13
Don Bolles, Arizona Republic investigative reporter, died as a result of injuries suffered when a bomb blew up his car 11 days earlier. He had been working on an alleged Mafia story at the time of his death.
Links: USA, Arizona, Mafia, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Oct 28
Former Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman entered a federal prison camp in Safford, Ariz., to begin serving his sentence for Watergate-related convictions.
Links: USA, Arizona, NixonR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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