One of America’s four corner states and the its sixth largest, Arizona is located in the southwest region of the country. It became the 48th state in the USA, on February 14th 1912. The name is believed to have come from the area’s previous Spanish name, Arizonac, meaning ‘small spring.’ It was first used in an official capacity on February 14th, 1862, when president Jefferson Davis proclaimed the area as a Confederate Territory. During the war, Arizona supported the Confederate Army by sending men, horses and supplies.
The capital of Arizona is Phoenix, which has a desert climate with extremely hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona has more moderate summer temperatures as well as snow during the winter, and is home to forests of pine (including the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pine trees), Douglas firs and spruce trees. These forests cover approximately 27% of the state, that also has an abundance of plateaus and mountains.
The area in and surrounding Arizona, was once the home of many Native American tribes. Indian reservations make up about 1/4 of the state, and these are the largest government recognised homes of Native Americans tribes in the United States. The rock paintings, cliffside dwellings and treasures which survived from previous centuries, attract thousands of visitors each year. There are also many tourists that are interested in the role Arizona played in The Wild West. During the 1920s and 30s numerous resorts were opened for this reason, and several still continue to thrive.
The state’s most flourishing sources of income included: cotton, copper, cattle and citrus. Cotton farming and copper mining both suffered during The Great Depression. In spite of this, the copper industry has been resurrected and it is still excavated, from expansive open-pit and underground mines. Arizona currently provides approximately two-thirds of the nation’s output.
During WWII, Arizona was the site of the German POW camps. After the war ended, these were bought by the Maytag family and converted into the Phoenix Zoo. The state also had a significant growth in population, and with it changes to the business development. One of the biggest contributing factors to the migration into Arizona was the invention of air conditioning, which made the climate more comfortable during the hot months. This growth has continued and the three highest job markets are currently health care, government and transportation.
Northern Arizona is the home of the state’s most popular tourist destination, The Grand Canyon. This deep, colourful gorge is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It is located in The Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the country. Arizona is also the home of one of the most well-persevered meteorite impact sites in the world. This was created approximately 50,000 years ago when the Barringer Meteorite Crater crashed to Earth. The impact resulted in a gigantic crater almost one mile wide and 570 metres deep, with a rim of smashed and jumbled rocks.