Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer stood onstage on the Senate lawn at the state Capitol on Monday, Feb. 14 and spoke of Arizona's history from territory to statehood.

Arizona's 100th anniversary and centennial countdown kicked off on Monday, 99 years to the day after it achieved statehood. The upcoming year is going to be a special one, Brewer said.

Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal introduced the CENTennial Copper Penny Drive, a project that involves students from across the state collecting pennies to clean and reseal the copper dome of the state Capitol.

"It will serve as a centerpiece for Arizona's 100th birthday," he said.

The drive will take place over 48 days to represent Arizona becoming the 48th state. It started on Feb. 9, the anniversary of when in 1911 voters approved a new state constitution, to April 11.

Through the centennial anniversary and beyond, legacy projects will be opening statewide to celebrate Arizona's history and to draw in more tourism for the state.

One of those is the Arizona State Railroad Museum in the city of Williams. When it opens sometime next year, it promises to have artifacts from some of the 76 railroad lines that were once operated throughout the state.

"Railroads have been a part of Arizona's economy for 150 years," Chairman and CEO Albert Richmond said. "I don't think people realize how important the railroad was in our history.

To find out more about the centennial celebration, visit www.Arizona100.org, or to view current legacy projects, visit www.AZCennential.gov.

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