A cowboy lassoed a bale of hay, flamenco dancers clapped castanets and a Navajo sounded his drum on Monday, Arizona’s 99th birthday, as Gov. Jan Brewer kicked off the countdown to the state’s centennial.
Arizona set out years ago to celebrate its 100th birthday by sprucing up the dingy Capitol district, hosting celebrations across the state and creating a lifetime of memories.
It might seem immigration laws, rampant foreclosures and a congresswoman’s shooting define Arizona as a state.
It’s closing in on 100 years since veterinarian A.J. Chandler sold plots of his 18,000-acre ranch to establish this city. That was three months after Arizona became a state on Feb. 14, 1912.
Carl Hayden: Hayden is arguably the most important Arizonan ever. He began working in Washington, D.C., to secure water for the sparsely populated desert state in 1902 and became Arizona’s first congressman upon statehood. He was the son of Charles Trumbull Hayden, a Tempe founder, and helped transform the pioneer territory into a modern state. Hayden quietly worked on national parks, military affairs, Indian matters and was instrumental in winning the Central Arizona Project. The $4 billion CAP diverted Colorado River water to Phoenix and Tucson and was the largest, most expensive water project in U.S. history. His 56 years in Congress have been eclipsed only once.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal kicks off the CENTennial penny drive by giving his daughter’s piggy bank full of pennies to a student from Capitol Elementary School.
© Copyright 2011, Ahwatukee Foothills News, Phoenix, AZ