Love is in the air today … especially for the state of Arizona!

Not only is it Valentine’s Day, it’s also Arizona Statehood Day. That’s right, Yuma – on this date in 1912, Arizona became the 48th state to join the United States of America.

It seems appropriate to celebrate some Arizona facts today, doesn’t it?

• In terms of area, Arizona is the sixth largest state in the country, at 113,990 square miles

• Its nickname is the Grand Canyon State

• The Arizona Motto? Ditat Deus (God enriches).

• Our state tree is the palo verde, and our flower is the saguaro cactus blossom. 

• Arizona’s state gemstone is turquoise

• Arizona’s state neckwear? The bolo tie. (A fun fact that we love!)

• Arizona has a veritable zoo of state critters. Our state mammal is the ringtail, which looks like a small fox with a long raccoon-like tail. The state bird is the cactus wren. Our state reptile is the Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake, the state fish is the Apache trout, the state amphibian is the Arizona tree frog, and the butterfly is the two-tailed swallowtail.

• Grand Canyon National Park is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – and the only one located in the U.S.

• The Arizona state flag’s yellow and red rays represent the 13 original colonies and the western setting sun. The red and yellow are based on the colors of the Spanish flag that Coronado carried into the region. The blue on the bottom half of the flag is the same blue of the U.S. flag. The copper star notes that Arizona is the largest copper producing state in the union, according to Gov. Doug Ducey’s website, AZGovernor.gov.

President William Howard Taft signed the documents to bring Arizona into statehood, and at the time, there were only 200,000 residents living in the state.

Today, Yuma County alone has just over 212,000 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, while Arizona has roughly 7.2 million. Essentially, our county has more residents now than the state did as a whole in 1912 – apparently, the secret’s out on how wonderful it is here!

Arizona is simply amazing – and we’re happy to give it some love today! Happy Statehood Day, Arizona!

(Looking for Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down? It will be back in the paper tomorrow!)

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