Arizona History

40 years ago this week, Arizona’s Sandra Day O’Connor made American history by becoming the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Here in Arizona, Sept. 25 is known as Sandra Day O’Connor Day.
Sep. 23, 2021
mountain lion
A collection of the interesting — and sometimes unusual — events that happened this week in Arizona history.
Sep. 15, 2021
International UFO Congress
The Southwest has a reputation its hot weather, expansive deserts — and supernatural phenomena. This abundance of supernatural discourse prompted one KJZZ listener to ask our Q&AZ project, "Why is the international UFO convention always in Arizona?"
Sep. 9, 2021
1898 photo of members of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
This week in 1920, a shortage of dormitory space compelled students at the University of Arizona to canvas the city of Tucson, house by house, in search of room and board. A collection of the interesting — and sometimes unusual — events that happened this week in Arizona history.
Sep. 8, 2021
potatoes
This week in 1932, the Northern Arizona State Teachers College in Flagstaff decided to accept hay, potatoes, eggs, oats or anything else man could eat in lieu of cash from students for room and board and books. A collection of the interesting — and sometimes unusual — events that happened this week in Arizona history.
Sep. 1, 2021
camel
This week in 1857, Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale arrived at the Colorado River approximately 125 miles above Needles after surveying a wagon road along the 35th parallel from Fort Defiance. Beale experimented with the use of camels on his expedition. A collection of the interesting — and sometimes unusual — events that happened this week in Arizona history.
Aug. 25, 2021
Tucson skyline
"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign," as the old song goes — and in Tucson, that’s especially true at the Ignite Sign Art Museum. Jude Cook and his wife own and operate the museum. He learned sign painting in 1972 right out of high school and opened his own sign company in 1976.
Aug. 20, 2021
kjzz microphones
Did you know KJZZ reaches hundreds of thousands of listeners every week? But it wasn’t always that way. As KJZZ celebrates its 70th year in operation, here's a look back at the history of the station.
Aug. 18, 2021
men standing in front of fire truck
A unique redevelopment opportunity has Phoenix trying something new. The city wants to turn a former firehouse at the corner of First and Moreland streets into a full-service restaurant.
Jul. 14, 2021
June 19 is now a federal holiday, as President Joe Biden Thursday signed legislation recognizing Juneteenth as the end of slavery in America. KJZZ explores further how the date exemplifies a celebration of the closing of an uniquely horrific chapter in American history.
Jun. 17, 2021
Flite Goodyear
A former Naval air station in the West Valley is aiming to become a major job center for the region. Flite Goodyear is on the site of a former Goodyear Tire and Rubber facility, which later became a Lockheed Martin facility. In its current iteration, there’s about 1 million square feet of land with more to build on. There are about 25 buildings, many of which date to 1942.
Jun. 11, 2021
Newspapers
For generations, newsroom printing presses have grown and evolved. But with the dawning of the internet, print journalism is finding itself muscled out by digital “papers.” The Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff is the latest publication to “stop the presses.”
Jun. 8, 2021
Tovrea Castle
Sightseers interested in touring the historic Tovrea Castle in east Phoenix will need some luck on their side. After a successful first run in the spring, the Tovrea Carraro Society is running another lottery to tour the landmark that resembles a wedding cake.
May. 29, 2021
three panels
Sixty years ago, the Phoenix City Council invited five artists to submit drawings for a mural at the airport’s new terminal.
May. 28, 2021
Pluto
A new exhibit at the Arizona History Museum in Tucson aims to make sure the state's place in the history of space flight is not forgotten. “Ready to Launch: Arizona’s Place in Space” showcases how the Grand Canyon State helped create a path to the stars.
May. 24, 2021
“Another Avenue” is a master’s thesis project by ASU student Ryan Krebs. He shot the documentary over two weeks this winter while walking up and down Central Avenue. It’s an intimate portrait of an ever-changing landscape.
More Arizona Arts, Entertainment News
May. 22, 2021
Mesa Typewriter Exchange Densmore No. 5
Those of us of a certain age might remember the clickety-clack of typewriters as the backdrop to office life for most of the 20th century. Here in the 21st century, the once-ubiquitous machines have become nearly obsolete. But here’s still a store devoted to them and people who are using them.
More Arizona History Stories
May. 13, 2021
Sandra Day O'Connor
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was recently honored by a national organization that aims to accelerate the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. It's a disease that has affected both O’Connor and her husband, John.
May. 7, 2021
Look Ma, it's Tempe baby
Danelle Plaza at Southern and Mill in Tempe is like a lot of strip malls. There’s a mix of businesses in there — a clothing shop, a restaurant, a record store, a billiards hall and perhaps the most well-known one, Yucca Tap Room. Danelle Plaza has been an important part of Tempe’s music and alternative arts scene, which is what drew Rob Moore to it.
May. 7, 2021
John and Cindy McCain on their honeymoon in Hawaii
Cindy McCain endorsed Joe Biden in the presidential race against Donald Trump. And she was given at least some of the credit for Biden becoming only the third Democratic presidential candidate to win in Arizona since World War II. That's just one of the stories she tells in her new autobiography.
May. 6, 2021

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