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5 Fun Facts About January 17 In Arizona History

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

1. In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state of the United States. This historic event marked the end of a long struggle for statehood, which had begun as early as 1863.

2. In 1929, the first commercial airline passenger service in Arizona began with a flight from Tucson to Phoenix. The airline was called Standard Airlines and it was later acquired by American Airlines.

3. In 1968, the Phoenix Suns played their first game as an NBA team. The game was played against the Seattle SuperSonics and the Suns lost 116-102.

4. In 1986, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in Arizona for the first time. This became a controversial issue in the state, as some lawmakers opposed the holiday and it was not officially recognized until the early 1990s.

5. In 2011, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot during a public event in Tucson. The shooting left six people dead and many others injured, including Giffords who suffered a severe head injury. Giffords' recovery and rehabilitation became a national story and she has since become a vocal advocate for gun control.
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