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2023 World Series champs make history

While Arizona baseball fans were likely disappointed their home team did not win the 119th World Series, history was nonetheless made in Phoenix on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

After splitting a pair of home games, the Texas Rangers traveled to Chase Field where they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trio of games to clinch their first ever title in franchise history – leaving just five teams without a title.

The D-backs’ first and only championship came in 2001 when – after three years of play – the fledgling expansion team beat the three-time champion New York Yankees in game seven on their home turf.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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Capital decisions

Long before Arizona was admitted to the Union (a sweet deal that transpired on Valentine’s Day in 1912), what would eventually become the Grand Canyon State was a U.S. territory whose capital was Tucson.

For a solid decade – commencing Nov. 1, 1867 – Tucson served as the territorial capital by vote of the Arizona Territorial Legislature. The first was Fort Whipple (1863), then Prescott in 1864 and again in 1877.

Phoenix, the present-day capital, was declared the permanent government seat in 1889 – more than two dozen years before becoming the 48th state – due to its location “at the geographical center of this [land].”

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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Arizona pigskin history

The Grand Canyon State has a deep history of professional sports, one that began in 1898 when the Morgan Athletic Club (the first iteration of the Cardinals) took to the gridiron in Chicago.

They joined the National Football League in 1920 and, after 40 seasons, moved to St. Louis before arriving in Phoenix in 1988; alongside the Chicago Bears, the Cardinals are the only remaining charter members still in existence.

Today, the Cardinals remain the oldest franchise in the NFL, and one of the least successful scoring championships in 1925 and 1947. Their home turf is State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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1st commercial flight, other fun facts on aviation history

The first scheduled passenger flight was in 1914 from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa – a distance of just 17 miles. In 1930 around 6,000 passengers flew, an amount that increased to half a million in 1934.

Pan Am introduced the Boeing 307s in the late 1940s, the first planes with pressurized cabins. Air traffic surged in the 1950s and 60s, and competing airlines introduced perks like gourmet meals and fine wines. Budget airlines were introduced, leading to lower airfares and increased air travel.

In 2022, 853 million passengers flew on U.S. airlines, down from a high of 928 million in 2019.

– Staff report, The Travel 100

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Fair amount of flu shutters annual Arizona tradition

If the last 3 ½ years have taught us anything, it’s that widespread pandemics are woven throughout history – a fact from which the Grand Canyon State is hardly immune.

On Halloween 1918, the Arizona State Fair was canceled due to an epidemic of Spanish influenza, which hit Arizona in a trio of waves and killed an estimated 2,000 residents – among them a disproportionate number of folks with tuberculosis.

In addition to shutting down the city of Phoenix twice, the epidemic led to a compulsory face mask order (sound familiar?), with violators at risk of a $100 fine or 30-day jail sentence.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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Birthplace of college football

If September is synonymous with anything, it’s college football – an American tradition born in Brunswick, New Jersey of all places.

The inaugural collegiate kickoff occurred on Nov. 6, 1869 between a pair of Garden State teams on College Field: Rutgers University vs. The College of New Jersey (or Princeton University, as it’s been known since 1896). The Scarlet Knights, enjoying a home-turf advantage, emerged victorious over the Tigers 6-4.

While the teams’ rivalry on the gridiron ended in 1980 (when Princeton joined the NCAA Ivy League Conference and Rutgers the Big Ten), it continues in other arenas – namely men’s basketball.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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The court above the Supreme Court

In the 1940s a spare room on the fifth floor of the United States Supreme Court building was converted to a workout area. Later, wooden backboards and baskets were added. Today, the space is a basketball court for clerks, off-duty police officers and other Supreme Court employees.

While the space is smaller than regulation, it has drawn noteworthy players, like Supreme Court Justice Byron White and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. A sign is posted reminding players to refrain from shooting hoops on a court day to avoid disrupting Supreme Court proceedings.

The court is not open to the public.

– Rebecca Hastings, The 100 Companies

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History of Labor Day

In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed the law designating the first Monday in September a holiday for workers. Two decades later, Rosa McKay was elected to the Arizona State Legislature where, in July of 1917, she began fighting for miners on strike in Bisbee.

McKay’s support of laborers got her run out of town, but not before House Bill 3 was passed – a minimum wage act for women – signed into law by Gov. Thomas E. Campbell on March 8, 1917. When she died (in 1934, at the age of 53), the Grand Canyon State flag flew at half-mast in honor of McKay.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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I drove one of the rarest (and strangest) sedans from the past decade

What’s strange about a Genesis G70? Nothing. The Korean BMW fighter sold surprisingly well from 2019-2023, when Genesis canceled it to build more crossovers.

But this isn’t just any G70; it’s a manual transmission G70. One of only 100 sold in 2020. While I applaud Genesis’ audacity – and guaranteed future sleeper status of this car – I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. The vague, mushy gearbox made me long for the one in a Miata or Hyundai’s own Veloster N.

However, returning this car to Carmax felt like returning a puppy to the pound. I pray someone adopts it soon.

Chris Butsch, Contributor

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What’s in a name?

On Aug. 8, 1906, President Teddy Roosevelt issued a proclamation changing the name of the Gran Cañón Forest Preserve – a whopping 1,851,250 acres whose Spanish name nods to the Gran Cañón del Colorado, the steep-sided result of one raging river – to the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve.

One decade later – on August 25, 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson signed an act that established our National Park Service, including 22 sites across Arizona.

Today, 425 national park sites (spanning more than 84 million acres) dot every state in the country, including the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100