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
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 cowboys, cattle rustlers, murderous Native Americans, polygamous Mormons, illiterate Mexicans and Democrats.
On June 20, 1910, Congress passed the Enabling Act, allowing a constitutional convention for Arizonans. Progressive citizens included a provision for recall of elected officials in their constitution, if the voters so wanted.
The news that Arizona had become the 48th state — almost 62 years after California's admission — arrived by telegraph at 8:55 a.m. that February day, and celebrators took to the streets.Washingtonians predicted it would be at least a century before the state would send anybody to D.C. who would make a difference. They were slightly off, especially when you consider Sens. Carl Hayden, Henry F. Ashurst, Ernest W. McFarland, Barry Goldwater, Paul Fannin,
Not bad for a state full of reprobates.