Phoenix History, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona is by far the hottest city in the USA: in has five months of terrible heat, when the average temperatures go higher than 38ºC. The city logo, "out of the ashes", can seem quite ironic during these hot summers. But as peculiar as it may seem, Phoenix history goes back almost two thousand years ago – way much longer than expected for a town situated in the middle of a dessert.
Phoenix History - Early History
The Hohokam people lived on the territory of today's Phoenix between the 7th and 15th century, building a complex irrigation system in order to make the Valley of the Sun (Salt River Valley) fertile. When the Roving Indians came, they found the ruins of Pueblo Grande and called the previous inhabitants ‘ho-ho-kam’ (the people that have gone). During the next centuries, the area was scarcely inhabited. A Jesuit priest named Eusebio Kino travelled in this part of Arizona along with the first wave of immigrants and named the Salt River 'Rio Salado'. Back then, Arizona was a part of Mexico, and it remained this way until the end of the Mexican American War in 1848. In the 19th century, the area was explored by trappers, who were looking for beaver, river otters and Mexican wolves. The first man to foresee the farming potential of the valley was Jack Swilling, who started the Swilling Irrigation Canal Company in 1868. Soon, a little town was formed around Swilling's enterprise and people began to raise crops. During its first years of existence, the city had several names: Swilling Mill, Helling Mill, Mill City. The name "Phoenix" was suggested by Lord Darrell Duppa, as he saw a resemblance between the mythical bird that rose from its own ashes and the city that was built the ruins of the Hohokam settlement. By the end of the 19th century, Phoenix had a population of approximately 2,500, had been incorporated in 1881 and was served by an electric car system.
Phoenix History - Modern Phoenix
1912 marks the date when Phoenix officially became the capital of Arizona. The city continued to grow rapidly, as the Roosevelt Dam was built, allowing the extension of the irrigation system. World War II represented an important stage in Phoenix' history: the city's economy rapidly shifted from agriculture to heavy industry. Many workers came to Phoenix and settled here after the war ended. They were soon followed by investors, who were attracted by the substantial labor force. By 1950, Phoenix population had passed 100, 000.
Phoenix is one of the most fast-growing cities in the US and an important air travel hub: numerous flights connect Phoenix with the west coast and central US (see cheap flights to Phoenix and Phoenix airfare deals for more details).
Things about Phoenix you may be interested in
Read our members' reviews about Phoenix
- Deserts, climbing and museums in Phoenix
review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
Nearly ideal year round weather & some perfectly designed contest have made Phoenix the top golf country in the world. However, there is more to this easygoing metropolis than perfect greens & tee times. Greater Phoenix area, as well, offers visitors the array of imposing cultural...
Read our members' travel tips about Phoenix
- Heard Museum in Phoenix
travel tip by athenalove posted more then 30 days ago
A museum dedicated to Native Americans, their culture, life, future and art. It has some interactive exhibitions, where kids can take home useful and interesting objects, either made by themselves or the staff. The whole place is full of...
- Phoenix Art Museum
travel tip by Torontoguy posted more then 30 days ago
This Museum is truly amazing. There are so many things to see, the museum focusing on several subjects ranging from art to history. We took part on the South Wing Overview guided tour which presented us contemporary paintings and...
- The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix
travel tip by Belle posted more then 30 days ago
This museum is incredible on so many levels. It has a wide range of instruments that are organized on a geographical scale, presenting the country (shown also on a map), its culture and the instrument itself. It so interesting to see...
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