Sunday, September 16, 2012


Arizona is in the southwest part of the USA.  Its borders make it the 6th largest state in the union.  Just a little smaller than Italy.  With 6.48 million people it has the country's 16th largest population.  It is also the most populated landlocked state.

Phoenix is the capital and largest city.  The Phoenix metro area has 4.2 million people.  In the winter, the population increases as many senior citizens, called "snowbirds", arrive from the northeast, and Canada, to enjoy the mild winters.

Arizona just celebrated its centennial.  It became our 48th state on February 14, 1912.  The last of the continental states.  Prior to the Mexican-American War it had been a part of Mexico.

Arizona is hot!!  The desert can be absolutely beautiful.  Especially at sunset, but still hot.  In July, it can get to 106 ºF (41 ºC).  Sometimes even hotter.  The winters aren't so bad, normally around 50 ºF (10 ºC).  Well except in the high desert where they get snow and 17 ºF (-8 ºC) is not unheard of.  You've got to love cactus and snow.

During WWII, many Japanese-Americans were put in internment camps.  Fearing a Japanese invasion of the west coast, Americans citizens of Japanese ancestry were moved to these camps.  What's interesting is that Japanese-Americans in Hawaii were never put in camps.  And no German-Americans or Italian-Americans were ever put in to camps.  Not a real proud moment in American history.

Arizona is home to several Indian reservations.  over 85,000 people speak Navajo and more than 10,000 speak Apache.

The most famous tourist attraction in the state is the Grand Canyon.  I've never seen it and I won't have time this trip.  However, next time, for sure.

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