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The Pioneer Hotel Fire of 1970

It was an exciting evening at the Pioneer Hotel on December 20, 1970. Hughes Aircraft, now Raytheon, held their annual Holiday Party in what was one of Arizona’s premier hotels–hundreds of people were in attendance. Winter visitors from all over the US and Sonora were either snuggled up in bed or enjoying the holiday festivities. […]

Unmasking the Past

It started suddenly. Few people, if any, saw it coming. Even the ones who knew it was coming, some doctors perhaps, couldn’t predict the ferocity of the virus that was spreading across the globe. One day, everything was normal. The next day, suddenly, there were 24 cases of the virus in Tucson. The numbers soon […]

Memorials and Monuments at the Arizona Historical Society

Starting A ConversationSometime between closing on November 4th and opening on November 5th, the two statues―honoring John Greenway and Padre Eusebio Kino―in front of the Arizona History Museum in Tucson were painted with red spray paint. As a history institution, we paused to reflect on what this means.  First, we have to ask questions about […]

Día de los Muertos, History and Celebrations

Día de los Muertos, celebrated across the Catholic feast days of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, is a holiday popular in Mexico, Latin America, and the United States. Like the European traditions Samhain, All Hallows Eve and Halloween, Día de los Muertos is a night where the veil between worlds is lifted.  Unlike […]

A Pipe, a Coin, and a Name: Phoenix at 150

October 26, 2020, recognizes 150 years of the Phoenix townsite layout. Did you know Phoenix was once called Pumpkinville? Learn about the history of how the Phoenix got its name and celebrate 150 years of the townsite. October 26th, 2020, marks the 150th anniversary of the townsite layout. While this sprawling city is home to […]

Hispanic Heritage Month in Arizona

Did you know that Hispanic Heritage Month is more than fifty years old? It was signed into law as a national week of observance by President Johnson in 1968 and expanded to a full month by President Reagan in 1988. It runs from September 15 to October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month does two important things: […]

Celebrating Navajo Code Talkers Day

During Worl War II, the first Navajo Code Talkers created a unique code that would prove vital to America’s victory in the Pacific. The Navajo were not the first tribe to use their language to transmit messages for the United States during a war. During World War I, Cherokee soldiers became the first known code […]

Fighting for a Voice: Native Americans’ Right to Vote in Arizona

On July 15th, 1948, Native American suffrage was finally passed with the Arizona Supreme Court overturning the case of Porter v. Hall, a case where Arizona Native Americans unsuccessfully sued for the right to vote. This gave the Indigenous population of Arizona the right to vote. This historic day came into fruition after decades of […]

Praying for Rain: Día de San Juan Celebrations in Tucson

Today is Día de San Juan, or the Feast of St. John the Baptist. In addition to being an important feast day for Catholics, Día de San Juan also marks the beginning of monsoon season. There are a few possible origin stories for the connection between St. John and the monsoons: one suggests that Francisco […]

What’s the deal with Cinco de Mayo?

May 01, 2020

Cinco de Mayo is the annual commemoration of the victory of Mexican troops over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While the Battle of Puebla was a significant battle in the Mexican resistance to French colonization, it is not Mexican Independence Day, which is September 16. Cinco de Mayo is more […]

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