This page is the general repository for all sorts of information that we’ve come across and don’t have another home for. (At least not yet, anyway.) Among the facts that we’ve found, some of them are commonly known, like the state bird and the length of the Grand Canyon. Others are pretty obscure, and as we find those, we’ll add them here.
Because Arizona has been blessed with low humidity and pollution in the past, several astronomical observatories have been established, including two of the most famous anywhere: Lowell Observatory , home of the discovery of Pluto, is in Flagstaff and Kitt Peak Kitt Peak , which has 24 optical and 2 radio telescopes and located about 55 miles southwest of Tucson.
Bicycling is a year-round sport in southern Arizona – but you either have to be very careful or very early in the summer in the south. In the north, the winter temperatures and snow can be a bit of a limiting factor, too, along with the altitude. Lots of people ride bikes at the Grand Canyon, however!
Here are a few links to get you going:
Sometimes it seems like everything in southern Arizona wants to sting, stick or poison you. The cacti (some folks are going with cactuses these days) range from small prickly pear to the giant saguaro (“giant” literally, the scientific name is Carnegiea gigantea).
There are also barrel cacti, cholla, organ pipe, senita, and hedgehog cacti (and a bunch of imports, too!). See the prickly pear holding up the Cactus Wren below.
We have a page on these wonderful and exotic plants at Cacti .
Some of the major league teams come here to play spring baseball in late February and March. They are the Angels, Athletics, Brewers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, and White Sox. A ton of people come to watch the games and get sunburned on Spring Break, too.
John McCain is just one of the Arizonans who have become famous in the political arena. Barry Goldwater ran for President in 1964 and was the target for one of the most famous ads in politics – the “daisy” one with the little girl counting the daisy petals followed by an exploding atomic bomb. Stewart Udall was Secretary of the Interior, as was Bruce Babbit. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has recently been in the news as well.
In the era of the Old West, Cochise and Geronimo lived and fought in eastern Arizona, and Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday had a little altercation down in Tombstone.
As an aside, both Zane Grey, who had a cabin near Payson, and Doc Holliday were dentists by training.
Other famous Arizonans include Edward Abbey (not born in Arizona, but died here and fought for the environment here), Rex Allen (singer, actor and narrator for tons of Disney nature shows), Lynda Carter (“Wonder Woman”),Cesar Estrada Chavez (labor leader), Andy Devine (cowboy “sidekick” to Roy Rogers as well as character actor in 400 films), Barbara Eden (the Jeannie that everyone dreamed of in the ’60’s), Ira Hayes (one of the people who raised the flag on Iwo Jima), Bill Keene (creator of the Family Circus comic strip), Lori Ann Piestewa (first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the Iraq war and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military), Linda Ronstadt (singer), Steven Spielberg (shot his first movie in Scottsdale), Ernesto Miranda (“Read him his rights!”) and Pat Tillman (NFL star and Army Specialist/Corporal).
Bird: Cactus wren
Flag: The bottom half is blue, there’s a copper-colored star in the center and the top half has 13 rays (seven red, 6 gold)
Flower: The saguaro blossom
Fossil:Araucarioxylon arizonicum (one species of a conifer found in the Petrified Forest)
Motto: Ditat Deus (Latin for “God enriches”)
Song: Arizona March Song, also known simply as Arizona
Tie: The Bolo. Yes, really.
Tree: Blue Palo Verde
Time in Arizona is literally all over the map. Most of the state doesn’t change to Daylight Savings, but the Navajo Nation does. As a result, sometimes the state is all on Mountain Standard time and sometimes most of it is on Pacific Daylight (which equals Mountain Standard) while the rest is on Mountain Daylight.
The Navajo Nation extends over three states, so staying with the other states makes sense. The Hopi Nation is surrounded by the Navajo Nation, but it’s all in Arizona and therefore stays on Mountain Standard along with the rest of the state.