Arizona History

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A nuclear bomb being tested in Nevada in 1957.
An estimated 2,000 Arizonans currently living in Mohave County suffered the effects of radiation exposure from nuclear testing during the Cold War. Yet, the U.S. government doesn’t recognize them as victims. The Downwinders Parity Act introduced last month by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is the latest in a long line of bipartisan attempts to compensate them.
Mar. 23, 2023
History is a collection of stories. It’s easy to get bogged down in dates, dead presidents, or disputes about what really happened, but Chris Smith brought history to life. If you took a history class at ASU a couple of decades ago, or shopped at Old Town Books in Tempe, you may have run into him.
Mar. 22, 2023
Tom Zoellner
Tom Zoellner is a fifth-generation Arizonan. He wanted to get a deeper understanding of his home state — so he walked across it. The result is his new book, "Rim to River: Looking into the Heart of Arizona."
Mar. 22, 2023
Ostriches in Chandler.
The city of Chandler will be holding its annual Ostrich Festival this weekend. It’s a big event featuring rides, live music headliners and more. But why ostriches? Turns out, while ostriches are not native to Arizona, they go a long way back in Chandler.
More Arizona history stories
Mar. 17, 2023
The exhibit “Rebuilding Home plate — Baseball in Arizona’s Japanese American Incarceration Camps” at the Arizona Heritage Center.
During World War II, Japanese Americans living along the west coast were forced to move into incarceration camps. Many yearned for a way to find normalcy and some turned to America’s national pastime — baseball.
More Arizona history stories
Mar. 16, 2023
creosote bush
New Mexico’s Senate Bill 188, which would grant the state an official aroma, passed the Senate. It now moves on to the House. If passed, and if the governor signs the bill into law, New Mexico’s official smell will become green chilies roasting over an open flame. That got The Show wondering — what might Arizona’s state smell be?
Mar. 6, 2023
An Arizona man who was one of the last known survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, has died at the age of 101.
Feb. 27, 2023
Shakespeare, hiking in Arizona, poetry on vinyl and a haiku winner share some thematic space on this KJZZ podcast about literature in Arizona and the region. It's hosted by Tom Maxedon.
Listen to more episodes of Word
Feb. 27, 2023
It’s been a little over a month since the African American Museum of Southern Arizona started welcoming visitors at the University of Arizona campus. It’s the first and only African American museum in the state.
Feb. 24, 2023
The Dirty Drummer Restaurant & Spirits sign
But in 2018, the last location of the Dirty Drummer was set to close until Dana Armstrong, whose father co-founded chain, stepped in to save the dive bar and restore it to its former glory.
Hear more interviews from The Show
Feb. 22, 2023
Longtime Arizona travel writer Roger Naylor has written hiking guides, driving guides and guides to the state parks of Arizona. And now, he’s out with a new book that takes a slightly different tack. "Awesome Arizona: 200 Amazing Facts about the Grand Canyon State" is almost an encyclopedia of interesting tidbits about the state.
Feb. 20, 2023
The joining of the tracks in Promontory, Utah
Hundreds of rail workers, politicians, railway executives and curious onlookers gathered in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, to watch four railmen drive the final four spikes into railroad ties, marking the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in North America.
Feb. 9, 2023
Arizona Coyotes Mullett Arena
Phoenix is a city of transplants. Most of us come from somewhere else, yet our stories are pretty much the same. But a lot of people who move here never really let go of the place they came from — and that includes their favorite teams.
Feb. 7, 2023
Kenichi Zenimura
A new exhibit at the Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe explores “America’s Pastime” through the lens of World War 2 Japanese internment camps in the U.S. — two of which were in Arizona.
Jan. 31, 2023
February is Black History Month across the United States. But how is it being examined in Arizona? It depends who you ask — keeping in mind the few answers which show up in a single story about the topic certainly shouldn't be considered exhaustive.
More coverage of race and diversity
Jan. 31, 2023
Fort Mojave Twins geoglyphs
Geoglyphs are massive etchings on the land found found all over the world, including in Arizona, where development can threaten their preservation.
Jan. 26, 2023
The Boeing 747
It's a plane that costs more than $400 million new. So it was surprising to industry insiders when, last month, a virtually new Boeing 747-8 was sent to the Pinal Airpark boneyard in Marana to be scrapped for parts.
Hear more interviews from The Show
Jan. 25, 2023
The bust of Don Bolles
Hank Stephenson is the co-founder of the substack the Arizona Agenda. He, along with co-founder Rachel Leingang, are working to get lawmakers to pass a bill that would establish a monument to slain Arizona journalist Don Bolles at the state Capitol.
Jan. 19, 2023
Ladimir Kwiatkowski as Ladmo (from left), Bill Thompson as Wallace and Pat McMahon as Gerald
If you missed your shot at a Ladmo Bag as a kid, now’s your chance. AZTV Channel 7 began airing old episodes of the “The Wallace & Ladmo Show,” a beloved Arizona kids’ show, on Jan. 1.
More Arizona arts and entertainment
Jan. 18, 2023
a digital model for the Arizona Jewish Historical Society's Holocaust learning center
A measure that requires Arizona students to learn about the Holocaust and other genocides at least twice between seventh grade and high school graduation was signed into law over a year ago. Now, the Arizona Jewish Historical Society is working to open a new Holocaust education center in Phoenix by 2025.
Jan. 16, 2023


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