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5 Fun Facts About December 23 In Arizona History

---Learn Every Day: AZ Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history az To: 618-270-4005---

1. On December 23, 1826, a band of Native American Indians in Arizona, known as the Yavapai, attacked a group of American fur trappers, killing six of them. This event became known as the Walker Massacre and marked a turning point in the relationships between Native Americans and European settlers in the region.

2. In 1903, the city of Phoenix celebrated its first Christmas tree lighting ceremony on December 23. The event was held in front of the courthouse and featured a 30-foot evergreen tree decorated with electric lights.

3. On December 23, 1914, Frank Luke Jr., a World War I pilot from Arizona, shot down two German observation balloons over Bohain-en-Vermandois, France. This feat earned Luke the nickname "Arizona Balloon Buster" and made him the first American aviator to receive the Medal of Honor during World War I.

4. In 1968, the Arizona State University football team defeated the University of Pittsburgh 34-7 in the Fiesta Bowl. This victory marked ASU's first bowl win and helped put the team on the national stage.

5. On December 23, 2016, Arizona Sen. John McCain issued a statement condemning the Russian government's alleged interference in the 2016 United States presidential election. McCain, who was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee at the time, urged Americans to "focus on the serious threats facing our country today and on the coming confirmation process for the incoming administration."
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