The Official State Flower of Arizona Is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom

Saguaro Cactus Blossom

Saguaro Cactus Blossom

The first of our Arizona facts tells us about the state flower. The official state flower is the saguaro cactus blossom. This is the largest known American cactus. The flowers on this beautiful plant bloom in May and June and are a delicate white color. The cactus has a long lifespan compared to some other plants – typically lasting between 75-100 years – and its spines grow very rapidly.

One of Arizona’s Most Profitable Industries Is Copper

In fact, the state leads the USA in the production of this metal. Copper is found in abundance in Arizona. It was first mined in the 19th century and, as of 2007, the industry there was estimated to be worth $5.54 billion. The by-products of this type of mining include gold and silver, believe it or not!

Arizona State Joined the United States in 1912

Statehood Order by Dates

Statehood Order by Dates

The next of our Arizona facts gives us a little insight into the state’s history. In 1912 it became the 48th state to join the USA – it’s sometimes referred to as the Valentine State because it joined on 14 February of that year. It took another five years for the state to adopt its own state flag. This flag is divided into two parts: the bottom half is blue, and the top half of the flag is divided into a further 13 segments. Seven of these are red and six are yellow. Right in the center of the flag, there is a copper colored star.

The Name Arizona Comes from the Native American Word for ‘Small Spring’

The Native American word is Arizonac, which roughly translates as place of the small spring. Arizona is also known as the Copper Canyon State or the Gold State too, and these are probably the most well-known of the names it goes by.

Arizona’s Climate Is Typically Desert But It Experiences Extremes of Cold Weather Too!

Arizona geography map

Arizona geography map

One of our fascinating Arizona facts relating to weather tells us about the climate of the state. Although it is typically classed as a desert climate, there can be great variations in temperature. On some days, the hottest and coldest temperatures in the entire nation can be recorded in this one state. In 1994, the hottest temperature in the state was recorded at Lake Havasu City, at 128 Fahrenheit. The lowest temperature was recorded in January 1971 at Lake Hawley, at a chilling 40 Fahrenheit. Despite its usual warm climate, the Arizona city of Flagstaff is noted as being the snowiest in the USA, recording on average 109 inches of the white stuff every year.

The First Explorer of Arizona Was A Monk Called Marcos De Niza

The next of our Arizona facts shows us a little about the history of the state. It was believed to have first been explored by someone called Marcos De Niza. He was a Spanish Franciscan Friar and he arrived in Arizona in around 1539. He made his expedition there to try and find the mysterious seven cities of gold.

Arizona Used to Belong to New Mexico

Arizona Territory was created in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. However, prior to this the state was actually part of New Mexico. On February 24 of that year, the President signed something called the Arizona Organic Act which freed it and created the state we know today.

The Grand Canyon Is Responsible for 685 Deaths

The Grand Canyon, AZ

The Grand Canyon, AZ

Since people have been allowed to visit the Grand Canyon there have been a total of 685 deaths associated with it. These have either occurred as a result of accident or ill health. Fifty-five of these deaths resulted from people simply plummeting to their end. Thirty-nine of these deaths involved males. Tragically, at least eight of these were freak, totally avoidable accidents in which the men were trying to hop from rock to rock to pose for the perfect photograph.

The Gunfight at the OK Corral Occurred in Arizona

The next of our fascinating Arizona facts tells us about this well-known historical incident that took place in the state and resulted in three deaths. It happened in 1881 at Tombstone and involved a gunfight between cowboys and lawmen. To this day, this OK Corral shootout is still considered the most famous shootout in the American Old West, yet it lasted for less than 30 seconds in total!

Arizona Has An Unofficial Presidential Resort Called the Biltmore

This high class resort in the state is an unofficial place for Presidents of the USA to visit. Every President since Herbert Hoover has stayed at the resort in Arizona at some point during their tenure. The only modern day President not to do so (so far!) is the current incumbent, President Obama.

Arizona Is Home to 13 Different Species of Rattlesnake

Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake

Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake

This is a higher figure than any other state in the USA. The most notable of the rattlesnakes found in Arizona is called the ridge-nosed rattlesnake. It is found in many of the mountain ranges of the state, usually above 4000ft in elevation, and it likes evergreen woodland to roam in. It typically eats lizards, mice and centipedes and will kill its prey with venom from its fangs.

Flagstaff, Arizona Should Have Been the Film Capital of the World in 1914

The squaw man

The squaw man

One of our really interesting Arizona facts tells us about the history of early cinema in America. It was in 1914 that Cecil B DeMille traveled to the town of Flagstaff to make what would become his first proper feature film, The Squaw Man. However, when he arrived, there was a terrific storm and he decided to flee and relocate to film in Hollywood instead. But for this one freak weather event, Flasgstaff would have been the film capital of the world, rather than Hollywood itself!

Arizona Produced The Very First Barrel of Tequila!

The town of Nogales in the state is the setting for the next of our Arizona facts. In June 1936 this town produced the first ever barrel of tequila in the country. Nogales has never forgotten this first batch of the famous drink, and there is actually now a Nogales Tequila Festival held every year.

Pluto Was Discovered at Flagstaff in 1930

That’s the planet and not the cartoon dog! Clyde Tombaugh was the man who discovered it, with the use of an astrograph telescope. However, its status was then debated over the next 75 years or so and, although it was originally classified as the 9th furthest planet from the sun, other planets such as Chiron were discovered in its path. However, it’s still a good story for Arizona!

Arizona Is Home to A Haunted Hotel called The Jerome Grand

The Jerome Grand, Arizona

The Jerome Grand, Arizona

Although it was originally built as a hospital in the mid-1920s, the Jerome Grand is now a hotel. Previously, it was known as the United Verde Hospital, and was used to treat sick miners. Visitors to the hotel have often reported hearing coughing, labored breathing and other spooky noises coming from unoccupied rooms. Similar reports of unusual odors such as tobacco, whiskey and dust have been reported – again in rooms that had nobody in them. Electrical anomalies have occurred too, with appliances switching themselves on and off. People visiting have also reported seeing two apparitions of ladies: one apparently a patient in a white gown and the other a nurse.

Arizona Facts – Facts about Arizona Summary

arizona factsFun facts about Arizona tell us that the state was the first to produce a barrel of tequila, that it could well have been the home of film making had it not been for a freak storm, and that it is also home to one of the most haunted buildings in the USA. The state is also the country’s biggest producer of copper. Finally, Arizona experiences wildly varying weather conditions and extremes of temperature, even though it is typically classed as a desert!