“Arizona’s greatness lies in the sum total of its geography and its peoples and their efforts from prehistoric times to come to terms with a land that makes no concessions to human beings.” ~Lawrence Clark Powell
Arizona is a southwestern state bordered by Utah to the north, New Mexico to the east, Mexico to the south, and California and Nevada to the west. It is the sixth largest state. Phoenix is the state’s capital. Other important cities in the state include Scottsdale, Surprise, Peoria, Glendale, Chandler, Tempe, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Arizona’s beautiful landscape includes mountains, valleys, plateaus, canyons, and deserts. The name Arizona is based on the Pima Indian word “arizonac,” meaning “place of little springs.” Arizona is also the Spanish interpretation of “arizuma,” an Aztec Indian word that means “silver-bearing.”
Statehood – Arizona was admitted to the Union as the 48th state in 1912.
State Motto – “Ditat Deus,” a Latin phrase meaning “God Enriches.”
State Seal – The official seal is black and white. The illustration on the state seal symbolizes Arizona’s key enterprises. Description of the state seal from the Arizona Constitution: “The seal of the State shall be of the following design: In the background shall be a range of mountains, with the sun rising behind the peaks thereof, and at the right side of the range of mountains there shall be a storage reservoir and a dam, below which in the middle distance are irrigated fields and orchards reaching into the foreground, at the right of which are cattle grazing. To the left in the middle distance on a mountain side is a quartz mill in front of which and in the foreground is a miner standing with pick and shovel. Above this device shall be the motto: “Ditat Deus.” In a circular band surrounding the whole device shall be inscribed: “Great Seal of The State of Arizona”, with the year of admission of the State into the Union.”
Official State Anthem – “Arizona March Song,” written in 1915 by Margaret Rowe Clifford, music by Maurice Blumenthal. The Arizona State Anthem was adopted by the Fourth Arizona State Legislature and became effective on February 28, 1919. All schools, public institutions, and the Battleship Arizona were furnished with copies.
State Song – In 1982, the Arizona State Legislature chose “Arizona,” a song written and performed by cowboy balladeer Rex Allen, Jr. as an alternate state song. Rex Allen, Jr. and his father Rex Allen, were natives of Willcox, Arizona.
Nickname – The Grand Canyon State
Postal Abbreviation – AZ
Latitude/Longitude – 31° 20′ N to 37° N / 109° 3′ W to 114° 50′ W
Size – Arizona is the 6th largest state; 114,000 square miles; about 340 miles wide and 400 miles in length.
Highest Point – Humphreys Peak at 12,633 feet, located in the San Francisco Mountains north of Flagstaff.
Lowest Point – Colorado River at 70 feet.
Average Elevation – 4,000 feet above sea level.
Highest Temperature – 128° Fahrenheit, recorded at Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994.
Lowest Temperature – A below zero temperature of -40° was recorded at Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971.
Average Temperature – Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 105 degrees to a low of 38 degrees.
Natural Wonder – The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 600 feet to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep.
Indian Fry Bread (a.k.a. Navajo Taco)
If Arizona had a state food, this would probably be it!
Ingredients: 4 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 ½ cups water, 1 handful of powdered milk, 2 cups vegetable oil for frying.
Directions: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the water and powdered milk to the flour mixture. Mix together with your hands until it’s not sticky. (Add more water if it’s too dry, or add more flour if it’s too sticky.) With your hands or a rolling pin, mold the fry bread into flat circles, each about 6 inches across. Put a hole in the middle of the dough with your finger. Heat the oil (it should be about 1 inch deep) in a large frying pan on high heat. Cook the fry bread until it’s golden brown on both sides. (Caution: The oil is very hot! This should be done with an adult’s help.) Remove the fry bread from the oil with tongs and set on paper towels to absorb the oil. Serve hot covered with honey, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar; or top with grated cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, refried beans, and cooked ground beef or chicken. Serves 4-6.