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Why Tucson almost turned down UofA

The University of Arizona has been in Tucson since 1885, but did you know the people of the town didn’t want it?

During Arizona Territory’s 13th Legislature, there was about $100,000 available to a town in the territory for a mental hospital, which Tucson desperately wanted. The “Thieving Thirteenth” legislature, though, gave that to Phoenix and awarded Tucson $25,000 for a university instead.

Tucsonans were so mad at the decision that they almost let the authorization expire without getting the 40 acres of land for the university, but two gamblers and a saloonkeeper donated the land. Tucson’s been Wildcat Country ever since.

– Alex Simon, The 100 Companies

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