Tuesday, February 14

Happy birthday AZ!

President William Howard Taft signs the Arizona Statehood Bill under my watchful eye.

Happy 100th birthday, Arizona!

In the 20th century, Arizona almost entered the Union as part of New Mexico in a Republican plan to keep control of the U.S. Senate. The plan, while accepted by most in New Mexico, was rejected by most Arizonans. Progressives in Arizona favored inclusion in the state constitution of initiative, referendum, recall, direct election of senators, woman suffrage, and other reforms.

Most of these proposals were included in the constitution that was submitted to Congress in 1912. President William Howard Taft insisted on removing the recall provision because it would allow recall of judges before he would approve it. It was removed, Taft signed the statehood bill on Feb. 14, 1912, and state residents promptly put the provision back in.

Incidentally, women gained the right to vote in Arizona in 1912, eight years before the United States as a whole!

Arizona is currently the sixth largest and the 16th most populous state. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona was the 48th and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union.

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