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Times Past

The Valenzuelas of Phoenix (access required)

On Sept. 15, 1918, a young soldier, who expected momentarily to be sent overseas to fight the Germans, had himself photographed at Camp (now Fort) Dix, New Jersey, and sent the result on a postcard addressed to Rosa Gold of Phoenix.

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Early LDS settlements in Arizona Territory (access required)

Hearty members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS) were summoned to leave their Utah homes and settle in Arizona Territory beginning in the 1860s as LDS President Brigham Young was concerned with westward-bound wagon trains filled with non-LDS settlers wanting to move into the wide open west.

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The ‘Bisbee Review’ Train (access required)

Shortly after midnight on Nov. 9, the Bisbee Review train pushed into the local station. Using results supplied by The Associated Press, the newspaper began to print its election special sections on two presses that ran until 3:45 a.m., as fast as possible. As soon as the election sections were printed, they were hauled off to the train.

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Arizona’s colorful territorial saloons (access required)

Whiskey the Road to Ruin Saloon in Gila Bend.

What would a Western movie be without the familiar saloon fight, the hard drinking customers, the cardsharp trying to cheat patrons out of their hard-earned cash, or the dancing girl hanging on the arm of a lonely miner? Who can forget the steely-eyed Virgil Earp playing an all-night card game with Johnny Behan, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury in Tombstone’s Occidental Saloon the evening before the shootout at the OK Corral?

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First automobile trip to the Grand Canyon

First automobile trip to the Grand Canyon People eager to see the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in 1901 traveled however they could — by foot, wagon, horse, a rollicking stage ride and railroad. Just four months after the train arrived at the South Rim, the first automobile departed Flagstaff on Saturday afternoon Jan. 4, 1902, with many townspeople present to watch, cheer and jeer.

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Arizona’s ‘Billy the Kid’

William Floyd Claiborne, called Billy the Kid (not to be confused with the original “Billy the Kid” whose given name was William H. Bonney), was born in Mississippi on Oct. 21, 1860. He came to Arizona in the early 1880s and worked as an amalgamator at mines in Charleston (a town a few miles southwest of Tombstone) and at the Neptune smelter in Hereford. Claiborne eventually fell in with a group of heavy-drinking cowboys and became friends with Tombstone’s infamous Clantons and McLaurys. He was a hothead.

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Highway 180: A Timeless Trail

The mostly two-lane U.S. Highway 180 travels through historic, scenic and scientific regions in northern Arizona. The highway winds through Texas and New Mexico before reaching the eastern border of Arizona where it generally follows ancient paths and wagon roads that connected small communities and water sources.

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Tombstone’s Chinese Pioneers (access required)

In the late 19th century, about 400 Asians resided in Tombstone and were ruled by a Chinese woman named China Mary. She was known for wearing opulent brocades and expensive jewelry, and was considered one of Tombstone’s most influential Chinese residents. China Mary, whose Chinese name was apparently Sing Choy, had acquired enough money to buy a Tombstone property on block 2, lot 9. She also was the wife of Ah Lum, a partner with Quong Kee in the town’s famous Can-Can Restaurant.

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