Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|The Keating Five were U.S. Senators who were involved with Arizona businessman Charles Keating who was accused in which scandal of the late 1980s/early 1990s?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Savings and Loan failures. The five senators, John McCain and Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, Alan Cranston of California, John Glenn of Ohio and Donald Riegle of Michigan, were accused of corruption in their association with Keating, who was the chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan. DeConcini, Cranston and Riegle didn't run for reelection after the Senate Ethics Committee determined they had interfered with the federal investigation into Keating's actions; McCain and Glenn were found to have exercised "bad judgement" in their dealings with Keating, but both men continued their political careers, with McCain being the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2008.
Keating had been accused in making high risk investments that exposed the government insurance to huge losses. Keating aggressively opposed any government intervention in his Savings and Loan and used his political contacts to keep the regulators at bay. After Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed, Keating was convicted in state and federal courts, but both convictions were overturned based on mistakes made by the trial judge. A plea deal prevented re-trials, and Keating was sentenced to the four years he already served in a Tucson prison.
|In 1960, Sun City, Arizona was built on the former site of the ghost town of Marinette. Sun City is usually credited as the first of what type of establishment in the United States?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Planned retirement community. Delbert E. Webb was the entrepreneur behind Sun City and several subsequent retirement communities in Arizona. Webb started in the construction business in the 1920s and during WWII, he was responsible for the building of the largest internment camp for Japanese-Americans near Parker, Arizona.
Incidentally, Leisure World at Seal Beach, California, also lays claim to the title of first planned retirement community. Both were developed around the same time, but apparently, Sun City had its first residents before Leisure World (at least according to Sun City sources). Youngtown, Arizona, however, beats both locations to the title of the first age-restricted community; it was established in 1954.
|Arizona housed prisoners of war during World War II, and in 1944, several POWs tried to escape by sailing down the Gila River. Why didn't they succeed?||Arizona, 1912-2012
The river was dry.. Known as the Great (or Not So Great) Escape, twenty-five German POWs escaped from a camp in Phoenix via a 180-foot tunnel in 1944. Three of them had built a boat with the intent to sail down the Gila River to the Colorado and then into the Sea of Cortez. Unbeknownst to them, like many desert rivers, the Gila River was not a continuously flowing river and had no water in it when they arrived on the banks. All of the men were recaptured within a few days.
Arizona housed over 15,000 German and Italian soldiers captured in Europe during the war. Sadly, over 30,000 Japanese-Americans were also interned in camps in the Arizona desert between 1942 and 1945 for fear that they might conspire with the enemy.
|Tourism is a major contributor to the Arizona economy, and beginning in the late 1940s, people started coming from across the nation to watch the Cactus League. What is the Cactus League?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Baseball spring training. Spring training for the baseball season dates back to the late 1880s. The Detroit Tigers were the first team to have their baseball spring training camp in Arizona (1929) although exhibition games had been played in the area even before Arizona became a state, as teams who had their camps in California would stop on their way back east. In 1947, the Cactus League was born when the Cleveland Indians and New York Giants made Arizona their spring training home. At the turn of the 21st century, ten teams were holding their spring training in Arizona, generating an estimated $350 million to the Arizona economy.
Although some sources state that the Indians and the Giants came to Arizona so that their players would not be subject to segregation, this sadly wasn't true. Arizona had segregation until the mid 1960s. When the last team to integrate, the Boston Red Sox, visited Phoenix in 1960, player Pumpsie Green was not allowed to stay at the team's hotel, the Safari in Scottsdale.
|The Thunderbird School of Global Management, located in north Phoenix, is one of the world's top business schools. What previously was built on the site in 1942?||Arizona, 1912-2012
An airfield to train World War II pilots. Thunderbird Field in NW Phoenix was used for training over 10,000 Allied pilots during WWII. The field was so named because it was set up to look like a thunderbird (a Native American symbol) from the air. Actor/pilot Jimmy Stewart was instrumental in getting the field built. Another WWII training site, the Desert Training Center, was established in 1942 in the Mohave Desert area of California and Arizona and was used to train over 1 million soldiers to prepare for the North Africa campaign. General George S. Patton was the first commandant of the center.
|In 1930, Arizona made world headlines when what discovery was made by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff?||Arizona, 1912-2012
The former planet Pluto. The dwarf planet formerly known as the planet Pluto was discovered as the result of a research project for "planet x" sponsored by Percival Lowell. Tombaugh took photos of the night sky weeks apart and then compared the pictures to look for objects that had moved. The discovery of Pluto was confirmed a year after Tombaugh began his research. The name for the planet was suggested by an English schoolgirl who thought that the god of the underworld was a good name for the distant planet.
Lowell Observatory is one of the oldest in the United States, having been established in 1894. Besides being the site of Pluto's discovery, astronomer Vesto Slipher also discovered large recessional velocities of galaxies while working at Lowell from 1912 to 1914 which led to the eventual discovery by Edwin Hubble that the universe is expanding. Einstein's calculations had led him to the discovery earlier, but he dismissed it since he believed the universe was static.
|Among the 127 Arizonans who died in WWI was a Medal of Honor awardee known as the Arizona Balloon Buster. Which flying ace was it?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Frank Luke. Nicknamed the Arizona Balloon Buster for his skill at shooting down enemy observation balloons, Second Lieutenant Frank K. Luke, Jr. was second only to Eddie Rickenbacker for American aerial victories in WWI (Rickenbacker had 26 compared to Luke's 18), with all of Luke's victories occurring in a span of 17 days. Luke was the first aviator to receive the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, awarded following his combat death on September 29, 1918. Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix and Luke Field in Hawaii were named in honor of Lt. Luke, as was the town of Lukeville in southern Arizona.
|When Arizona became a state, Phoenix was its capital city but not its largest city. Which city, known as the Old Pueblo, was Arizona's largest in 1912?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Tucson. Tucson was founded in 1775 and is Arizona's oldest incorporated city (1877). Tucson was actually founded by a Dublin-born Irishman, Hugo O'Conor, who had joined the Spanish army and established the Spanish presidio at the site. During the U.S. Civil War, Tucson was the western capital of the Confederate Arizona Territory, so four flags have flown over Tucson: Spain, Mexico, the Confederate U.S. and the U.S. flag.
Phoenix was founded in 1861 and incorporated in 1881. Jack Swilling, a prospector and entrepreneur, is credited as the founder of Phoenix; he started an irrigation company to supply water from the Salt River to the surrounding lands, as the Hohokam had done hundreds of years earlier. The town was briefly called Pumpkinville because of the wild gourds that grew along the river, but ultimately it was given the moniker of Phoenix because it had been reborn out of the ruins of the Hohokam civilization. "Lord" Darrell Duppa, an English expatriate, has been credited with giving Phoenix its name; he also named the city of Tempe, claiming that the area reminded him of the Vale of Tempe in Greece.
When Arizona became a state in 1912, the population of Tucson was over 13,000 while Phoenix was around 11,000. Phoenix surpassed Tucson in population in the 1920s.
|The early growth of Arizona's economy was tied to the "Five Cs": Cattle, citrus, cotton, climate and what other item?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Copper. Arizona has historically been the nation's top copper producer, supplying more than 60% of the US's copper, and has held that title for over 100 years. Ranching quickly became one of the main industries in Arizona when the territory joined the US, and up until the 1950s, Arizona had more cattle than people. Citrus groves were once wide-spread throughout the Phoenix area, and even though most of those have disappeared, Arizona remains one of the nation's top citrus producers (along with California, Florida and Texas), with lemons being our main citrus crop. The dry climate was considered medicinal in the early days of Arizona's statehood, and the deserts of Phoenix and Tucson attracted sufferers from tuberculosis and other ailments. The climate is also conducive to agriculture - lots of sun in the desert areas with little or no frost - and attractive to vacationers escaping cold weather climates. The introduction of Egyptian cotton in 1900 sparked the cotton industry in the state. Arizona is still one of the top ten cotton producers in the country, but we're better known for produce - we ranked second in lettuce production and third in the "vegetable, melon, potato and sweet potato" category.
|Arizona became a state on February 14th, 1912, on the fiftieth anniversary of what event?||Arizona, 1912-2012
Arizona becoming a Confederate Territory. The lower half of Arizona became a Confederate territory in 1861 during the U.S. Civil War. This occurred largely because of the diversion of the Overland Mail from the territory. The mail route ran through southern Arizona, and the troops that protected the mail also protected the settlers in the area. When the U.S. troops left, confederate troops moved in. Arizonans had felt abandoned by the U.S. government, so the confederate troops met little resistance in Arizona. The westernmost battle of the Civil War, The Battle of Picacho Peak, was fought on April 15, 1862. More of a skirmish, the battle consisted of 14 union troops versus 10 confederate troops, and the union troops retreated after suffering three fatalities. Shortly after that, U.S. cavalry troops from California recaptured Tucson in May of 1862 and drove the confederates out of Arizona.
Most sources maintain that the February 14th was intentionally picked for the statehood day, but while some claim it was in response to Arizona's brief occupation by Confederate troops, other sources state that the original date selected was February 12th, and President Taft decided to delay the official announcement so that Arizona's statehood day would not coincide with Lincoln's birthday. In either case, the Civil War played a role in the selection date of Arizona's "birthday".