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5 Fun Facts About March 23 In Arizona History

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

1. In 1903, Governor Alexander Brodie signed a law that established the Arizona Bureau of Mines. This agency was created to promote the development of the state's mining industry, which remains a vital part of Arizona's economy to this day.

2. On March 23, 1912, President William Howard Taft signed a proclamation that officially admitted Arizona to the Union as the 48th state. Arizona's road to statehood was a long and contentious one, stretching back to the late 19th century.

3. In 1934, Arizona's first highway patrolman, Earl W. Willits, was killed in the line of duty just north of Flagstaff. Willits was pursuing a speeding motorist when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed. He is honored each year by the Arizona Department of Public Safety with a memorial ceremony.

4. In 1963, the Arizona State Senate voted to approve a resolution supporting the use of the Atomic Energy Commission's proposed underground nuclear test site near Flagstaff. The plan was ultimately abandoned due to public opposition and concerns over environmental damage.

5. On March 23, 2000, the Arizona Diamondbacks played their first game at the brand-new Bank One Ballpark (now known as Chase Field) in downtown Phoenix. The Diamondbacks went on to win the National League West title that season, and eventually captured the World Series in thrilling fashion in 2001.
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