Bonita is a small town located in Graham County, Arizona. Despite its small size, Bonita has been witness to a number of significant historical events. From the Apache Wars to the arrival of the railroad, here are seven historical events that have taken place near Bonita.
1. The Battle of Big Dry Wash: In February 1882, a group of Apache warriors, led by the notorious Geronimo, engaged in a battle with U.S. soldiers near Big Dry Wash. The fighting lasted for hours, with both sides suffering casualties. Eventually, the soldiers retreated, and Geronimo and his followers escaped into the Sierra Madre Mountains.
2. The construction of the Gila Valley, Globe, and Northern Railway: In the early 1900s, the Gila Valley, Globe, and Northern Railway was built to connect the copper mines in Globe with the Southern Pacific Railroad. The railway ran through several towns in Graham County, including Bonita.
3. The resolution of the Graham County Courthouse Siege: In 1918, a group of Mexican American men, led by the socialist organizer Antonio Franco, seized the Graham County Courthouse in Safford. The men were protesting the racist treatment they had experienced from local authorities. The siege lasted for several days before it was resolved peacefully.
4. The creation of the Saguaro National Monument: In 1933, the Saguaro National Monument was established near Tucson. The monument preserves the iconic saguaro cactus, which is native to the Sonoran Desert. The monument is located just a few miles south of Bonita.
5. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II: In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Many Japanese Americans from Arizona were sent to internment camps in other states. The impact of this policy was felt throughout the state, including in Bonita.
6. The construction of the Mount Graham International Observatory: In the 1980s, the Mount Graham International Observatory was built on Mount Graham, near Bonita. The observatory is home to several telescopes and is operated by a consortium of universities.
7. The Goodwin Fire: In 2017, a wildfire broke out near the town of Mayer, Arizona. The fire eventually spread to Graham County, threatening several communities, including Bonita. The fire burned for several weeks before it was finally contained.
These are just a few of the many historical events that have taken place near Bonita, Arizona. Despite its small size, Bonita has been witness to a number of significant moments in Arizona's history.
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