Jon Kyl

Arizona: First-rate journeys in the 48th state

Arizona: First-rate journeys in the 48th state

To get a modern-day perspective on the euphoria Arizonans felt on Feb. 14, 1912, when they were granted statehood, try to imagine the Cardinals winning the Super Bowl. Or the Diamondbacks winning the World Series. Or the Suns at long last nailing the NBA Championship. The territory had lusted after the equal status that came with statehood much like a teenager waiting for his driver's license.

Sen. Albert J. Beveridge, an Indiana Republican and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, was the bane of Arizona. After a three-day fact-finding trip to the territory, he concluded it contained nothing but cactus, heat, rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, scorpions, hell-raising...