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Free Traveling Guides » States » Arizona

History of Arizona

The first Native Americans arrived in Arizona between 16,000 BC and 10,000 BCE. However, as per the history of Arizona recorded by Europeans, Marcos de Niza, a Franciscan, was the first to explore this region in 1539. The expedition of Coronado entered the region in 1540-1542, in order to search for Cibola. A chain of missions was established by Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino in the early 1690s and 1700s. Kino also taught the Indians Christianity in Pimeria Alta, present day Southern Arizona and northern Sonora. Fortified towns, known as the presidios, were founded by Spain at Tubac in 1752 and at Tucson in 1775.

In 1821, after the Mexican assertion of independence from Spain, all of the present-day Arizona became a part of the Mexican State of Vieja California. At the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, most of Arizona was under the control of the United States. The land below the Gila River was bought from Mexico in 1853, as part of the Gadsden Purchase. Arizona was finally organized into a distinct territory on February 24, 1863. It was on February 14, 1912, that the territory was officially admitted into the Union. During the World War II, the State was home to the German and Italian prisoner of war camp at Phoenix. Besides, Arizona also housed the War Relocation Authority's second- and third-largest Japanese American internment camps, Poston and Gila River.

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