Amidst the statehood songs, cultural performances and reminiscences of the its history, Gov. Jan Brewer kicked off the state’s 100th anniversary with a proclamation declaring Feb. 14, 2012, as Arizona Centennial Day.
“Happy birthday Arizona,” Brewer said. “I must tell you all, every day that I serve as your governor is a great honor. But it is a special honor to be here today and serve as your governor as we celebrate this historic milestone as I see the great pride and enthusiasm all over our wonderful state.”
Brewer said the celebration at the Capitol was one of more than 425 “legacy projects and official centennial events” across the state on Tuesday, the 100th anniversary of Arizona’s statehood. Booths celebrating the state’s history, as selling the new Arizona statehood stamp, adorned the Capitol lawn as part of the “centennial expo.”
The Barrett Honors College sang the “Arizona March Anthem,” an official state song, followed by state balladeer Dolan Ellis’ centennial song, “100 Years Brand New.”
And radio host Don Shields, impersonating George W.P. Hunt, the state’s first governor, recalled Arizona’s humble origins when the state “had barely more people than cattle,” with a population of just 200,000 people in 1912, when it “moved from being ruled to governing ourselves.”
“On this day 100 years ago, Arizonans became Americans. The hopes and dreams our forefathers had for over 50 years came to pass, and their vision of a state that would continuously contribute to the national discussion, and to the ideals of freedom and liberty, were born. May the next 100 years bear witness to the same,” Shields said.