Today in Arizona History
PHOENIX (AP) — Sunday, Dec. 23
On this date in 1854, Albert Steinfeld, who became one of Tucson’s most prominent businessmen and civic leaders, was born in Hanover, Germany.
On this date in 1883, the Salt River rose 14 feet (4 meters) after a prolonged rain. The dam and headgate of the Grand Canal were torn out as a result.
On this date in 1883, Felix G. Hardwick claimed a $500 reward offered by the Arizona Territorial Legislature for the first bale of cotton to be produced in Arizona.
On this date in 1914, swollen by a week of rain, the Santa Cruz River flooded its valley and flowed 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) wide at Amado.
On this date in 1929, Bishop Daniel Gercke dedicated the bells of the little chapel at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson.
Monday, Dec. 24
On this date in 1888, the Solomonville and Bowie stagecoach was robbed of the mail.
On this date in 1915, the Phoenix Business Association opened a campaign to sell Congress on the idea of buying land from Mexico on the Gulf of California so that Arizona could build a sea port.
On this date in 1926, the U.S. government paid the Southern Pacific Railroad $1 million to move 15 miles (24 kilometers) of track between Bowie and Globe to clear the way for the construction of Coolidge Dam.
On this date in 1929, Frank Curley, who had served as president of the Arizona State Bar and city attorney of Tucson, was killed in an auto accident on the Nogales Highway.
On this date in 1929, Judge Charles Payne Hicks, Probate Judge of Yavapai County for 23 years during Territorial days, died.
Tuesday, Dec. 25
On this date in 1832, the Babocamari Land Grant was made by the government of Mexico to Ignacio Eulalia Elias.
On this date in 1846, William “Billy” Breakenridge, who became a Cochise County deputy sheriff, deputy U.S. marshal and a special officer for the Southern Pacific Railroad and who wrote the book “Helldorado” about Tombstone, was born.
On this date in 1905, the first State Fair opened in Phoenix under authority of a legislative act.
On this date in 1906, Tombstone Prospector described a new innovation for the Christmas season ... “one of the novelties during the Christmas celebration this year are artificial Christmas trees ... The imitation is so exact a production of the real article that it is difficult to tell the difference between the two.”
On this date in 1909, Mexican “rurales” fought a battle with six horse thieves who had been plaguing the border. Four outlaws were killed and two wounded.
On this date in 1916, Tucson experienced a Christmas Day blizzard. Extreme cold weather caused a coal shortage throughout all of southern Arizona.
On this date in 1929, part of the U.S. border was moved two blocks north to include the big municipal Christmas tree in Nogales, Ariz. so that some 3,000 children living in Nogales, Sonora could come to the tree to receive gifts of candy, toys and clothing.
On this date in 1934, George W.P. Hunt, seven-time governor of Arizona, died at age 75. His body lay in state in the Capitol rotunda under the Great Seal of Arizona which he helped design.
Wednesday, Dec. 26
On this date in 1864, the Supreme Court of the Territory of Arizona held its first session in Prescott.
On this date in 1874, the citizens of Arizona, California and New Mexico petitioned the Postmaster General for daily mail service from San Diego to Mesilla, New Mexico.
On this date in 1929, the Southern Arizona Automobile Company at Douglas was destroyed by fire. The loss was estimated at $200,000.
Thursday, Dec. 27
On this date in 1919, the city of Phoenix attempted an experiment with a municipally operated store selling government blankets, underwear, beans and corned beef in an effort to combat the high cost of living.
Friday, Dec. 28
On this date in 1866, the Rev. Charles M. Blake held the first Presbyterian Church service in Arizona in a log cabin in Prescott.
On this date in 1881, Marshall Virgil Earp of Tombstone was shot in the back and crippled for life.
On this date in 1903, a fire started in the furnace room of the Arizona State Capitol. Because of the distance of the building from the nearest fire hydrant, nearly an hour elapsed before firefighters were able to turn their hoses on the blaze. The only loss was two and a half cords of cedar firewood.
On this date in 1929, it was announced that military airplanes would be used to make serial photographs of the ancient irrigation canals of the Gila and Salt River Valleys before all traces of them were destroyed by modern farming and irrigation.
Saturday, Dec. 29
On this date in 1863, Gov. Richard C. McCormick, the first Territorial Governor, and a party of newly appointed officials reached Navajo Springs where McCormick administered the oath of office to his party, read his proclamation and raised the flag.
On this date in 1919, fire broke out in the 96th Aero Squadron camp at Douglas and 250 aerial bombs exploded, causing $100,000 damage.
On this date in 1931, the University of Arizona College of Law was elected to membership in the Association of American Law Schools.