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Arizona history Dec. 20-26

December 16, 2020 GMT

Sunday, Dec. 20

On this date in 1888, work was begun on a bridge across the Colorado River at Needles.

On this date in 1914, it rained in Phoenix for 72 consecutive hours, causing the reservoir behind Roosevelt Dam to gain 40,000 acre-feet in one day.

On this date in 1925, 1,200 boxes of dynamite exploded at the United Verde Copper mine causing $20,000 damage to walls and window glass in Jerome.

On this date in 1929, the town of Miami discovered it would need heavier manhole covers when the Arizona Road Department’s electric magnet was put to work picking up nails and metal scraps from the city’s streets. The machine picked up all the manhole covers along its route.


Monday, Dec. 21

On this date in 1920, educational circles were horrified when only five applicants were able to pass the teacher’s examination in Maricopa County and none could pass at all in Pima County.

On this date in 1929, two miners were killed when an explosion was set off prematurely in the Blue Bird Mine, 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Mammoth.

On this date in 1929, Dr. O.A. Turney, a Phoenix resident for 42 years and a prominent archaeologist who traced the prehistoric canals in the Salt River Valley, died.

Tuesday, Dec. 22

On this date in 1902, certain parts of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation were restored to public domain by executive order.

On this date in 1929, several boys, all under age 13, broke into a railroad car belonging to the Arizona Packing Co. in the Southern Pacific yards in Tucson and stole several whole hogs and assorted packages of pork. For most of the night, the Tucson Police Station resembled a packing house storage room as officers recovered and brought in loads of meat.

On this date in 1936, the announcement was made that The Associated Press trunk line would establish a mainline office in Phoenix.

Wednesday, Dec. 23

On this date in 1854, Albert Steinfeld, who became one of Tucson’s most prominent businessmen and civic leaders, was born in Hanover, Germany.

On this date in 1883, the Salt River rose 14 feet (4.3 meters) after a prolonged rain. The dam and headgate of the Grand Canal were torn out as a result.

On this date in 1883, Felix G. Hardwick claimed a $500 reward offered by the Arizona Territorial Legislature for the first bale of cotton to be produced in Arizona.

On this date in 1914, swollen by a week of rain, the Santa Cruz River flooded its valley and flowed a mile and a half wide at Amado.


On this date in 1929, Bishop Daniel Gercke dedicated the bells of the little chapel at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson.

Thursday, Dec. 24

On this date in 1888, the Solomonville and Bowie stagecoach was robbed of the mail.

On this date in 1915, the Phoenix Business Association opened a campaign to sell Congress on the idea of buying land from Mexico on the Gulf of California so that Arizona could build a sea port.

On this date in 1926, the U.S. government paid the Southern Pacific Railroad $1 million to move 15 miles (24 kilometers) of track between Bowie and Globe to clear the way for the construction of Coolidge Dam.

On this date in 1929, Frank Curley, who had served as president of the Arizona State Bar, Pima County Bar Association and city attorney of Tucson, was killed in an auto accident on the Nogales Highway.

On this date in 1929, Judge Charles Payne Hicks, probate judge of Yavapai County for 23 years during Territorial days, died.

Friday, Dec. 25

On this date in 1832, the Babocamari Land Grant was made by the government of Mexico to Ignacio Eulalia Elias.

On this date in 1846, William “Billy” Breakenridge, who became a Cochise County Deputy Sheriff, Deputy U.S. Marshal and a special officer for the Southern Pacific Railroad and who wrote the book “Helldorado” about Tombstone, was born.

On this date in 1905, the first State Fair opened in Phoenix under authority of a legislative act.

On this date in 1906, Tombstone Prospector described a new innovation for the Christmas season ... “one of the novelties during the Christmas celebration this year are artificial Christmas trees ... The imitation is so exact a production of the real article that it is difficult to tell the difference between the two.”

On this date in 1909, Mexican “rurales” fought a battle with six horse thieves who had been plaguing the border. Four outlaws were killed and two wounded.

On this date in 1916, Tucson experienced a Christmas Day blizzard. Extreme cold weather caused a coal shortage throughout all of southern Arizona.

On this date in 1929, part of the U.S. border was moved two blocks north to include the big municipal Christmas tree in Nogales, Arizona,. so some 3,000 children living in Nogales, Sonora could come to the tree to receive gifts of candy, toys and clothing.

On this date in 1934, George W.P. Hunt, seven-time governor of Arizona, died at age 75. His body lay in state in the Capitol rotunda under the Great Seal of Arizona which he helped design.

Saturday, Dec. 26

On this date in 1864, the Supreme Court of the Territory of Arizona held its first session in Prescott.

On this date in 1874, the citizens of Arizona, California and New Mexico petitioned the Postmaster General for daily mail service from San Diego to Mesilla, New Mexico.

On this date in 1929, the Southern Arizona Automobile Company at Douglas was destroyed by fire. The loss was estimated at $200,000.