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Letter to the editor: Historically challenged historical society

The Arizona Historical Society, now a state agency, proudly boasts that it was founded in 1864. Unfortunately, the claim is not true.  An organization called the Arizona Historical Society was established in 1864 by the first territorial legislature in Prescott, but it faded into oblivion in the 1870s. The first AHS had no known connection to the present day AHS which was founded in Tucson in 1884 by Charles D. Poston. When established, it was named the Society of Arizona Pioneers, and it was primarily an elite social organization that excluded many people.  The name did not become the Arizona Historical Society until nearly a century later.

If the present day AHS cannot even properly interpret its own history, why are Arizona taxpayers giving it millions of dollars per year to preserve Arizona history?

– Dick Zimmermann lives in Tempe

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