Arizona History

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 […]

Flagstaff’s Fourth of July Celebrations

July 02, 2020

Fourth of July celebrations are interwoven in Flagstaff’s cultural traditions since 1876. Townspeople honored the day with parades, games, speeches, and rodeo. Organizers within the Elks’ Club put on the annual Fourth of July show “The Days of ’49” that included a parade of vehicles, floats, marching bands, and costumed groups holding banners. Fourth of […]

Pausing to Help Slow the Spread of COVID

Dear Members & Friends of Arizona History, We hope that you and your families are safe and staying well. We know many of you have been looking forward to visiting our museums and libraries. Please be advised that as of Tuesday, June 30, Arizona History Museum in Tucson and the Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park in Tempe will […]

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 […]

Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom

June 19, 2020

On June 19, 1865 Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas and brought word that the Civil War had ended and enslaved persons were free. The newly freed men and women celebrated, left the plantations, and sought their long-lost family members. Juneteenth, the name derived from the month and date, […]

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