Today in Arizona History
PHOENIX (AP) — Sunday, June 16
On this date in 1888, downtown Holbrook was destroyed by a fire that originated in a wool warehouse. The town was quickly rebuilt, however, with even larger and more substantial buildings.
On this date in 1896, the new electric plant at the Yuma Territorial Prison was destroyed by fire.
On this date in 1910, the Tucson Fire Department’s horse drawn wagons raced through city streets at 9 p.m. in response to an alarm. Suddenly a man appeared in the middle of the street waving a red lantern. The drivers veered to one side, and learned later they had barely avoided plunging into a 6-foot ditch which had been dug across the street for a sewer line.
On this date in 1913, the establishment of an aviation school in Phoenix, the first in the Southwest, was announced. The school’s instructor, Jacques Neyvatte, guaranteed to make students expert fliers in six weeks.
On this date in 1988, Gov. Evan Mecham and his brother, Willard, were acquitted of criminal charges of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan. The acquittal came two months after Mecham was removed from office by a State Senate conviction in an impeachment trial on charges of obstruction of justice and misuse of state funds.
Monday, June 17
On this date in 1913, farmers in the Upper Gila Valley went to the Supreme Court to prevent copper mines from polluting streams in the area. They won their case.
On this date in 1917, the Rev. John H. Clifford in a sermon delivered at the First Baptist Church in Tucson, charged that the Pima County Jail was a “seminary of vice and corruption, a hotbed of brutality, a breeder of disease — in fact, a very inferno of all that is horrible and revolting.”
Tuesday, June 18
On this date in 1868, the Navajos left their exile at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and began their return journey to Arizona.
On this date in 1879, the first ice plant in Arizona went into production. S.D. Lount established his factory in Phoenix with a five-horsepower engine capable of producing 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) of ice per day. He made his deliveries on a homemade wheelbarrow.
On this date in 1882, the Rev. Endicott Peabody held the first service in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the first Episcopal church in the territory.
On this date in 1913, the temperature hit 100 degrees (38 Celsius) for the first time that year, marking the latest day to ever hit 100 degrees.
On this date in 1986, a twin-engine aircraft and a helicopter on sightseeing tours of the Grand Canyon collided, killing all 25 people on both aircrafts.
Wednesday, June 19
On this date in 1895, J.O. Dunbar, editor of the Phoenix Gazette, who called the governor, territorial secretary, attorney general and the marshal, “assassins, looters, hoodoos, patronage peddlers and land grant sharks” was convicted and fined $3,000 for libel by a Tucson court.
On this date in 1915, 70,000 persons witnessed as the battleship Arizona was launched at the New York Navy Yard, celebrating with a bottle of the first water to flow over Roosevelt Dam and champagne.
On this date in 1926, dedication of the Coronado Trail Highway was held at Hannagan Meadows.
On this date in 1927, Richard Van Valkenburgh, friend of the Navajos, died. The Navajo Tribal Council passed a resolution stating: “No other white man has ever worked among us with greater devotion and understanding.”
On this date in 1976, the University of Arizona wins its first NCAA Baseball Championship, defeating Eastern Michigan 7-1.
Thursday, June 20
On this date in 1906, the Arizona Daily Star reported that a poultice of equal parts gunpowder and mustard mixed in to a paste with the white of an egg would cure rabies if applied to the bite wound.
On this date in 1910, the Phoenix Arizona Republican announced a boom in auto sales as one company sold three machines in a single week.
On this date in 1928, bids for the construction of the second section of the Swift Trail in the Graham Mountains was opened at the Bureau of Public Roads in Phoenix.
On this date in 1993, Michael Jordan played his last basketball game as the Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to capture their third straight championship at America West Arena in Phoenix.
Friday, June 21
On this date in 1860, the original Baca Float Grants were made by act of Congress.
On this date in 1867, Pauline Weaver, who had come to Arizona in 1839 and became a guide, scout, trapper and hunter, died at Camp Lincoln at the age of 70.
On this date in 1913, an entire flock of goats drowned in an irrigation ditch in Tucson when they were driven from the Tucson Mountains by thirst and stampeded into the ditch at the smell of water.
On this date in 1922, Arizona’s first licensed broadcasting station, KFAD, went on the air in Phoenix.
On this date in 1936, A.J. Eddy of Yuma developed the first home evaporative cooler.
Saturday, June 22
On this date in 1854, the first steamer on the Colorado River, The Uncle Sam, sank at Pilot Knob.
On this date in 1857, the federal government signed a contract with James E. Birch for semi-monthly mail and passenger service from San Antonio, Texas to San Diego via Tucson. The line became known as the “Jackass Mail” because the passengers had to ride mules from Fort Yuma to the coast.
On this date in 1892, the Casa Grande Ruins were declared a national monument by President Benjamin Harrison.
On this date in 1930, a cloudburst dropped 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain on Tucson, and was immediately followed by hurricane force winds that ripped roofs off houses.