Technically the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, so Arizona has been around for quite a while. But the space on the map didn’t technically become official until 1912. If fact, it recently had a birthday in February. We’re not certain if households across the state lit 105 birthday candles for it, but we also can’t speak for what people choose to do in their own homes. How old is Arizona? How does this birthday stack up to the other states? Find out more about the history, the dates, and the reason why Arizona is so darn young.
The oldest state is technically Delaware, which became a state in 1787. Though the originally 13 colonies were established around the same time. Of course, that’s where our country started, way out there in the East. But states in the south followed pretty quickly. Georgia became a state in 1788, which is a pretty fast takeover for a country that was still trying to get its legs under it.
It took a little while to cross over to different territories, but there was a major upswing in terms of land mass for many years afterward. Ohio was established in 1803, while Minnesota was first named a state in 1858. But it wasn’t necessarily a purely east to west venture. Oregon became a state in 1859. So really, when you think about it, Arizona is kind of like the 19-year-old at a party who’s sure that 25 is the end of the line when it comes to youth.
So, What Happened?
Knowing the state’s history is the key to knowing why Arizona is such a novice when it comes to survival. It was the very last state to be admitted into the union before the outliers Alaska and Hawaii. But there’s a reason for this: Arizona was a part of the US land holdings, it was just under a different name and didn’t have state privileges. Arizona used to be a part of the territory of New Mexico, before it became a separate territory in 1863. History is still unsure exactly what the name even means. Some people say it’s from a phrase about oaks while others say it’s about spring. Both features seem uncharacteristic of the dry and extremely hot spot in the US, but to each their own.
It seems like Arizona may not even have become a state if not for a little change in 1854. The discovery of copper was really the main reason why the territory of Arizona separated from New Mexico (which didn’t even achieve statehood until just before Arizona did in January of 1912.) It’s possible that New Mexico was thinking it just didn’t need all that money coming from copper, but it’s more likely that certain people wanted to capitalize on the valuable resource. It was the industry everyone wanted to be in until about 60 years ago. Once WWII ended and air conditioners became more common, making it much easier to move to the dessert areas, and the population started to boom in Phoenix. It blossomed so much, that currently Phoenix is one of the top cities issuing traffic tickets which are only dismiss-able by taking traffic school.
So, What’s Next?
Arizona has some spectacular scenery that’s much older than the state itself. Between the people, the places and the weather here, Arizona may not have been the first state in the nation, but it will likely age just as well (if not better) than the rest of the states.