Arizona history-Dec. 26-Jan. 1

December 22, 2021 GMT

Sunday, Dec. 26

On this date in 1864, the Supreme Court of the Territory of Arizona held its first session in Prescott.

On this date in 1874, the citizens of Arizona, California and New Mexico petitioned the Postmaster General for daily mail service from San Diego to Mesilla, New Mexico.

On this date in 1929, the Southern Arizona Automobile Company at Douglas was destroyed by fire. The loss was estimated at $200,000.

Monday, Dec. 27

On this date in 1919, the city of Phoenix attempted an experiment with a municipally operated store selling government blankets, underwear, beans and corned beef in an effort to combat the high cost of living.

Tuesday, Dec. 28

On this date in 1866, the Rev. Charles M. Blake held the first Presbyterian Church service in Arizona in a log cabin in Prescott.

On this date in 1881, Marshall Virgil Earp of Tombstone was shot in the back and crippled for life.


On this date in 1903, a fire started in the furnace room of the Arizona State Capitol. Because of the distance of the building from the nearest fire hydrant, nearly an hour elapsed before firefighters were able to turn their hoses on the blaze. The only loss was two and a half cords of cedar firewood.

On this date in 1929, it was announced that military airplanes would be used to make serial photographs of the ancient irrigation canals of the Gila and Salt River Valleys before all traces of them were destroyed by modern farming and irrigation.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

On this date in 1863, Gov. Richard C. McCormick, the first Territorial Governor, and a party of newly appointed officials reached Navajo Springs where McCormick administered the oath of office to his party, read his proclamation and raised the flag.

On this date in 1919, fire broke out in the 96th Aero Squadron camp at Douglas and 250 aerial bombs exploded, causing $100,000 damage.

On this date in 1931, the University of Arizona College of Law was elected to membership in the Association of American Law Schools.

Thursday, Dec. 30

On this date in 1853, under the terms of the Gadsden Purchase, the U.S. agreed to pay Mexico $10 million for 45,535 square miles of land below the Gila from the Rio Grande to the Colorado River.

On this date in 1911, the Federal Court sat for the last time in Tombstone. After adjourning there the court was scheduled to reopen in Phoenix under a new judge to be appointed by President William Howard Taft.

On this date in 1916, as a result of a very close, contested election, Thomas E. Campbell, Republican, and George W.P. Hunt, Democrat, both took oaths of office as Governor of Arizona — after which Hunt refused to vacate the Governor’s office and Campbell opened a temporary office in his home.

On this date in 1929, the annual meeting of the Arizona Pioneers’ Historical Society was held in the Society’s new quarters in the University of Arizona stadium building.


Friday, Dec. 31

On this date in 1908, Dr. James Douglas was named president of the Phelps Dodge Corp.

On this date in 1914, 300 Arizona saloons reported a rush of business as they prepared to close at midnight in compliance with the new prohibition amendment.

On this date in 1934, the second earthquake in two days shook Arizona with damage reported from Phoenix to Nogales.

Saturday, Jan. 1

On this date in 1875, four convicted murderers escaped from a jail in Tucson.

On this date in 1877, the 9th Territorial Legislature, the last one to meet in Tucson, convened.

On this date in 1915, giving women the right to vote becomes law in Arizona.

On this date in 1921, a damage suit was brought against the Arizona Eastern Railroad alleging negligence. According to the complaint, 34 ostriches died or were killed in transit.

On this date in 1927, the first seven in a series of 50 earthquake shocks occurred. The shocks lasted three days and caused extensive damage in areas of Arizona, California and Mexico.