138 years of Tucson. Highlights: The Citizen covered fire, flooding, shootouts – and good newsby Tucson Citizen on May. 16, 2009, under Local
Citizen Staff Report
THE FINAL EDITION
Citizen Staff Report
Arizona Citizen is born
Oct. 15, 1870
The first edition of the Arizona Citizen, then a weekly, rolls off the press. The first issue notes that a pair of valuable mules and a horse had been stolen from a ranch within sight of the city, and that sweet potatoes were selling here for 20 cents a pound.
When the paper debuts, the Civil War has been over for just five years and Arizona won’t become a state for another 42 years.
Camp Grant Massacre
April 30, 1871
Just before dawn, a group from Tucson shoot, stab and bludgeon to death more than 100 Apache men, women and children camped near Winkelman about 65 miles northeast of Tucson. The Citizen’s report notes the raid was in ‘self-defence’ because four settlers had been slain and stock stolen in the San Pedro Valley. But the killings provoke outrage across the United States. At a murder trial, all of the participants are acquitted.
The railroad arrives
March 20, 1880
“There was rejoicing in Arizona last night,” the Citizen reports on the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which would bring a wider variety of goods to Tucson – and at far cheaper prices – than by stagecoach.
“The iron horse panted into Tucson and with its neigh gave notice that a new order of things was about to be established.”
Shootout at the OK Corral
Oct. 26, 1881
The Citizen says the shootout between the Earps and the Clantons “will always be remembered as one of the crimson days in the annals of Tombstone . . . the bloodiest and deadliest street fight that has ever occurred in the Territory.’
Wyatt Earp kills Stillwell
Earp suspected Frank Stillwell of killing his brother Morgan in Tombstone a few days earlier. He and “Doc” Holliday track Stillwell down near the downtown train depot and shoot him.
Ground broken for UA
Oct. 27, 1887
The Territorial Legislature appropriates $25,000 to help start the territory’s first university. But the money doesn’t cover the land purchase. The city is about to return the money when two gamblers and a saloonkeeper step forward and donate the land. Classes begin in 1891 with 32 students.
Arizona becomes 48th state
February 14, 1912
President Taft signs the proclamation making Arizona a state.
The Citizen reports that when a dispatch from the White House arrived with the news, Tucson greeted it “with an an outburst of whistles and bells.” The paper says the demonstration was as great as when the railroad first arrived in Tucson.
Lindbergh visits Tucson
Sept. 23, 1927
Thousands gather to greet the “Lone Eagle,” flier Charles Lindbergh, and his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh, who months earlier became the first to fly solo across the Atlantic, speaks at the University of Arizona and helps dedicate Davis-Monthan Airfield.
Dillinger gang captured
Jan. 26, 1934
Tucson police capture desperado John Dillinger and six gang members without firing a shot. Members of the gang had been staying at the Hotel Congress, where some of them were recognized when a fire forced the evacuation of the hotel. Dillinger himself is captured in a residential neighborhood a few blocks northeast of downtown. Dillinger, who eventually escapes, dies a few months later when he is gunned down outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.
Feb. 2, 1951
Calif.-based Hughes Tools, owned by the reclusive Howard Hughes, announces plans for a plant in Tucson that will eventually employ as many as 10,000 people. The operation, now owned by Raytheon, is the city’s largest private employer.
Jet hits supermarket
Dec. 8, 1967
It was called a miracle when just four people died after an Air Force F-4D jet fighter crashed into the Food City supermarket at 1830 S. Alvernon Way.
Tucson celebrates 200
Aug. 20, 1975
Residents mark the 1775 founding of the Tucson presidio by Capt. Hugo O’Conor, an Irish mercenary working for the Spanish crown. It is the first European settlement in what is now Tucson, but the area had been inhabited for thousands of years by Native Americans.
IBM plans new plant
Oct. 12, 1977
The plant, located on the Southeast Side, opens in May 1978, with as many as 5,000 employees predicted. Ten years later, IBM announces it will cut 2,800 jobs there. The plant site is now also home to the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.
Inferno claims Old Tucson
April 25, 1995
Fire destroys three-fourths of the movie studio and Western theme park, which had been a site for numerous Western films since 1939. The cause of the fire is never determined, although arson is suspected.
CAP water arrives
Tucsonans get their first taste of Central Arizona Project water after the final link in the 336-mile-long project from the Colorado River is completed. The delivery means Tucson will no longer have to depend solely on its rapidly shrinking supply of groundwater. But many Tucsonans complain about the taste and the water’s corrosive effect on appliances. Delivery is halted while those problems are solved.
Wildcats win NCAA basketball title
The University of Arizona Wildcats beat Kentucky in overtime for the school’s first national title in men’s basketball. The Cats become the first team to defeat three No. 1 seeds on the way to the title. Although the Wildcats had won national titles in baseball, the basketball championship brings attention on UA sports to a new level.
After the game, thousands of fans converge on Fourth Avenue to celebrate the win.