Arizona History

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 […]

Share Your Arizona Pandemic Story

People often think of archives and museums as places where you go to learn about important historical figures. But who decides what makes a person “important” enough to belong in a museum? Throughout much of modern history, decisions about what museums collect have been made exclusively by archivists and curators.  Yet over the past few […]

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: […]

Labor Day’s Legacy: Working for Change

Americans celebrate the last three-day weekend of the summer with barbecues, pool parties, and shopping. Labor Day is an American tradition, but where did Labor Day come from?  A Short History of Labor Day Who were the essential workers of the past? In the late 1880s, essential workers (factory, mining, railroads, meat packing industries) faced […]

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 […]

Our License Plate Has A New, Electrifying Look

A Storm Has Arrived! Share your love of Arizona history and outfit your vehicle with the Arizona Historical Society’s new specialty license plate, which features an image of a stunning Arizona monsoon storm. “In the same way that monsoons have a powerful impact on the landscape, history has a profound and powerful impact on our […]

Buffalo Soldiers and Indian Scouts: Remembering and Uncovering Those Who Served

July 28, 2020 recognizes the 154th anniversary of the passage of the Army Reorganization Act. This act, which reorganized the US military following the Civil War, created both the Buffalo Soldiers and Indian Scouts. Both Black and Indigenous people served in the US Armed Forces before 1866, but this act was the first time they […]

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 […]

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