Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Arizona

One hundred years ago today Arizona became the 48th State. Here are some excerpts from my article on this event in the Tombstone Times.

WASHINGTON, D. C., Feb. 14. -- To the accompaniment of the whirr of three moving picture machines and the click of a battery of cameras lined along the wall of the executive office, President Taft at 10 o’clock this morning signed the proclamation admitting Arizona to the Union as the forty-eighth state, and at the same time completed the chain of states from ocean to ocean, and eliminated the last territorial form of government in continental United States except that of the District of Columbia. After he signed the duplicate which is to be forwarded to Arizona for filing in the state's archives, the President looked up smilingly, and said, "Well, there you are." (Arizona Journal-Miner, Prescott, Arizona, February 21, 1912.)

            The road to statehood was long and hard for Arizona. Ironically it was first proclaimed a Confederate Territory on Valentine's Day, 1862 by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.) United States President Abraham Lincoln made it a territory on February 24, 1863 and the 1912 delegation to Washington hoped President Taft would sign the proclamation making it a state on that esteemed President's birthday. But Taft was preparing for a trip to New York on February 12, 1912 and it wasn't until two days later, St. Valentine's Day, that Arizona became a state. For the first time Arizona pioneers would be able to vote for their own government leadership instead of territorial governors and aides being appointed by the president.

Happy Valentine's Day Friends and Family.