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5 Fun Facts About October 29 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 officially became the 48th state in the United States. After years of lobbying and campaigning by local leaders, President William Howard Taft signed the statehood proclamation on February 14, 1912. On October 29 of that year, Arizona held its first state election, with Democrat George W.P. Hunt winning the governorship in a landslide.

2. In 1929, the stock market crashed, triggering the Great Depression. Arizona was hit hard by the economic downturn, with many residents losing their jobs, homes, and savings. Governor John C. Phillips declared a state of emergency and launched a series of relief measures, including public works projects and agricultural subsidies, to help the state recover.

3. In 1954, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater won re-election in a landslide, earning more than 70% of the vote against his Democratic challenger, lawyer Ernest W. McFarland. Goldwater went on to become a leading conservative voice in the Republican Party, running unsuccessfully for president in 1964.

4. In 1971, the Phoenix Suns played their first NBA regular-season game, losing 118-110 to the Seattle SuperSonics. Despite the defeat, the Suns went on to have a successful inaugural season, finishing with a record of 48-34 and qualifying for the playoffs.

5. In 1994, a referendum to establish a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Arizona was narrowly defeated, sparking national controversy and condemnation. The state had been the last in the country to recognize the civil rights leader with a holiday, and the decision was seen by many as a reflection of deep-seated racial tensions in Arizona. It was only after a boycott by civil rights groups and a grassroots campaign that the holiday was finally established in 1992.
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