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Author Archives: Jane Eppinga

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The Dons and Doñas (access required)

Barry Goldwater, Carl Hayden and Ernest McFarland were members. So was President Harry S. Truman. Members of this group, the “Dons of Arizona,” are dedicated to exploring and preserving the history, legends and lore of Arizona and the Southwest.

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Postcard King of the West (access required)

Perhaps it was fate that Burton Frasher, who would eventually be eulogized as the “Postcard King of the West,” was born in 1888 — the very same year that George Eastman coined the word “Kodak” and the slogan “Kodak as you go” for his new mass market camera.

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Marvel Crosson and the Powder Puff Derby (access required)

Women had been flying airplanes since the early days of aviation, and by 1928, they had also piloted balloons, parachuted out of disabled planes, served as their own mechanics, set altitude and speed records, wing-walked and barnstormed. But they hadn't yet raced airplanes.

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A legendary Tombstone cowboy (access required)

On the silver screen and the wide-open southern Arizona ranges, Sid Wilson was one of the last authentic 19th century cowboys. His genuine, hard-working, real cowboy lifestyle provided authenticity to the characters he played in Hollywood movies and Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show.

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Bird Man of Tombstone (access required)

Some of Tombstone's most famous gun fighters, including the Earps, Doc Holliday, Billy Claiborne and Johnny Ringo all patronized Hafford Saloon, which became one of the most popular watering holes in Tombstone. But the establishment is notable for another reason entirely.

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Tucson Fire Department (access required)

The Tucson Fire Association, Tucson Fire Company and Tucson Hook and Ladder Company formed the first Tucson fire department under the fumes of cigar smoke in the Gem Saloon on Congress Street in the early 1880s. While the volunteers had the will to fight fires, technology and city support still needed to catch up.

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Tombstone: Fighting frontier fires (access required)

Fires were a common occurrence in frontier towns. With limited water supplies and volunteer firefighters, Tombstone almost completely burned to the ground twice. On June 22, 1881, a cigar ignited a barrel of whiskey at the Arcade Saloon. The subsequent fire destroyed more than 60 businesses in the downtown area - comprising the eastern half of Tombstone's business district.

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Pioneer Aviators (access required)

In 1916, four men were assigned to fly reconnaissance with General John "Blackjack" Pershing's punitive expeditionary forces in Mexico to help chase Pancho Villa. Ira Rader, John B. Brooks, Ralph Royce and Arthur Reed Christie were among America's earliest military aviators and were frequent visitors to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

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