Arizona’s First Governor
George W.P. Hunt (1859-1934) nicknamed himself the “Old Walrus” during his seven-term reign as Arizona’s first governor, but don’t be suckered by the self-deprecation – the one-time teen drifter was a skilled and nimble political operator. A colleague once described the bald, big-bellied populist as a “behind-the-scenes manipulator who presided in the manner of a stoic, benign Buddha, if one could picture Buddha with a splendid handlebar mustache.”
Goodyear makes a railroad connection with its pre-suburban yesteryear in honor of the Centennial.
In its heyday, the Litchfield Train Station in Goodyear served as a vital gateway to the outside world: Hollywood stars alighted on the West Valley to film Westerns and rusticate at their ranches, and executives chugged in from the East to tend to their burgeoning business interests. The station even served as a launchpad for the area’s cotton industry.
Home to the Valley’s first high-rise residences and the late, great Phoenix Playboy Club, midtown was the most swinging neighborhood in Phoenix back in the sleek ’60s. Today, new generations are discovering the joys of our most urban enclave.
From the 1930s through the ’50s, one Arizona family dominated the local rodeo scene. Raised by a father who worked at Dobson Ranch when it was a massive cattle ranch and farm, the Finley brothers – Luther, Larry and Frank – learned horse culture quickly.
Celebrating its 100th birthday this year, Roosevelt Dam has provided the Valley with water, power and a lush history.
On March 18, 1911, President Theodore Roosevelt came out West and, in front of about a thousand onlookers, gratefully christened his namesake.
Not a stuffed toy bear, but another, much bigger namesake.
Arizona has produced some bizarre ideas, but perhaps none of them is stranger than a 1960s plan to detonate atomic bombs near Phoenix to help supply the Valley with water.
The audacious idea began in 1964 with the formation of the Arizona Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) to “encourage more development and uses of atomic energy in Arizona,” according to its pamphlet, The Peaceful Atom in Arizona. In 1967, the AAEC stated that nuclear explosions might prove more economical than traditional construction methods for creating reservoirs and water transmission tunnels for the Central Arizona Project, which would transport water uphill from the Colorado River to Phoenix. Although some federal officials thought the idea had merit, the AAEC didn’t persuade the Arizona Interstate Stream Commissioners, who were in charge of the project.
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