Today in Arizona History
PHOENIX (AP) — Sunday, Dec. 2
On this date in 1852, the first steamer on the Colorado River reached Yuma. Uncle Sam was brought to the mouth of the river in sections on a schooner and assembled in Yuma.
On this date in 1861, Mormon settlers established the community of Beaver Dams, now known as Littlefield.
On this date in 1920, Arizona raised the salaries of teachers in one-room schools from $80 to $100 per month and paid them in state warrants.
On this date in 1927, Arizona became the first state to regulate and control airplanes engaged in the commercial transportation of passengers and freight.
On this date in 1929, an American Indian of a huge build, armed with a knife and a big appetite for liquor, took over as “mayor, sheriff, prosecutor and executioner” of the town of Twin Buttes. When county deputies arrived, they found most of the rest of the population hiding in the brush outside of town.
On this date in 1936, the Yuma Morning Sun and Arizona Sentinel newspapers merged to become the Yuma Daily Sun.
Monday, Dec. 3
On this date in 1933, Arizonans passed the million dollar mark in income taxes paid — the total was $1,164,000.
On this date in 1933, 15,000 people attended an enormous barbecue in Paradise Valley to celebrate the receipt of a federal grant for the Verde River Project.
Tuesday, Dec. 4
On this date in 1856, the first Post Office to be opened in Arizona Territory was established at Fort Buchanan in the Sonoita Valley.
On this date in 1871, it rained continuously in Clifton for 30 hours. The resulting floods killed 18 people.
On this date in 1871, the Silver Queen Mine was recorded.
Wednesday, Dec. 5
On this date in 1873, a “Telegraph Ball” was held in Tucson to celebrate completion of the first military telegraph to the town.
On this date in 1905, there was great public indignation when President Theodore Roosevelt’s message to Congress recommended joint statehood for New Mexico and Arizona. Towns over the Territory held mass protest meetings.
On this date in 1907, Henry C. Hooker, pioneer Arizona rancher who established the Sierra Bonita Ranch, died.
On this date in 1923, the first 200 cases of the new crop of grapefruit from the Salt River Valley were sold in England.
On this date in 1929, Paul Geary of Holbrook — former Navajo County district attorney and Arizona deputy attorney general, past American Legion departmental commander in Arizona and an Arizona National Guard lieutenant colonel — died.
Thursday, Dec. 6
On this date in 1913, the U.S. District Court awarded the 100,000 acres (40,469 hectares) remaining of the Baca Float grant in southern Arizona to the heirs of the original grant.
On this date in 1921, Yuma’s business section was gutted by a fire. It caused $250,000 of damage.
On this date in 2012, Arizona’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary opens in Glendale, two years after voters approved the use of the drug to treat certain health problems such as chronic pain and cancer.
Friday, Dec. 7
On this date in 1875, John Clark brought the first herd of sheep into Arizona by way of Hardy’s Ferry across the Colorado River near the present site of Bullhead City.
On this date in 1875, under an act to raise money for public schools, the Territorial Legislature appropriated $250 for the first public school.
Saturday, Dec. 8
On this date in 1883, five men held up the Goldwaters Castanada store in Bisbee, killing four people, including one woman.
On this date in 1899, Sheriff Frank Wattron issued printed invitations to the hanging of convicted murderer George Smiley. The invitations said, “the latest improved methods of scientific strangulation will be employed and everything possible will be done to make the surroundings cheerful and the execution a success.”
On this date in 1906, the Petrified Forest National Monument was established by President Theodore Roosevelt. It became a national park in 1962.
On this date in 1913, Gov. George W.P. Hunt filed a protest with Gen. Vanustiano Carranza of Mexico over the wholesale execution of prisoners of war by Pancho Villa.
On this date in 1929, fire partially destroyed the plant of the Arizona Silver Belt Publishing Co. at Miami. Valuable newspaper files dating back to 1878 were saved.
On this date in 1931, Gov. George W.P. Hunt protested the abandonment of Army posts at Douglas and Nogales, claiming that it destroyed Arizona’s sense of security.