Happy Birthday, Arizona!

Rita Erickson | Heber-Overgaard

It's Valentine's Day, but there's something else to love for residents of the Grand Canyon State: Today is Arizona Statehood Day, which marks Arizona's 106th birthday.

Arizona officially became a state on February 14, 1912, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. President William Howard Taft signed the legislation that created the state, which previously was Arizona Territory. George W.P. Hunt, the state's first governor, was on hand for the signing.

It was the 48th state admitted to the union, just behind New Mexico and ahead of only Alaska and Hawaii. To get there, it had to survive a 1906 move by Congress to combine it with New Mexico Territory and admit the two to the union as a single state. But the move required a majority of residents in each territory to vote in favor of it, and while New Mexicans did so, Arizonans overwhelmingly rejected joint statehood.

Despite being one of the nation's largest states, Arizona has just 15 counties — most of which rank among the 100 largest counties in America. In fact, for a long time, Arizona had just four counties — Mohave, Yuma, Pima and Yavapai. A fifth, Pah-Ute County, came along in the 1860s but disappeared a few years later.

Do you know any other interesting facts about Arizona? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments

The proposal to organize the Confederate Territory of Arizona was passed by the Confederate Congress in early 1862 and proclaimed by President Jefferson Davis on February 14, 1862.[6] Coincidentally,southern sympathizers pushed the legislature to wait until February 14, 1912 for Arizona's statehood to be approved to honor the south.

Arizona under the Confederate States was the southern part of Arizona and New Mexico. The first Capital of AZ was Mesilla, NM, Just south of Las Cruces, NM

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