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Arizona turns 106 Wednesday

Arizona turns 106 Wednesday
Posted at 5:57 AM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 08:44:42-05

Arizona is celebrating its 106th birthday Wednesday. 

The former territory became a state on Feb. 14. 1912, becoming the 48th of the contiguous states to join the union.

Originally part of New Mexico Territory, Arizona was divided into a territory of its own in 1863. The portion of the state containing Tucson was part of Mexico until 1853 when U.S. ambassador James Gadsden signed a treaty that sealed the deal to pay $10 million to Mexico for 29,670 square miles that also included part of what is now New Mexico.

Tucson was capital of the territory from 1867 to 1877, succeeding Prescott, which had held the title from 1864. Prescott became the capital once again in 1877, with Phoenix taking over in 1889.

George W. Hunt was elected as Arizona's first governor in 1912. He served seven terms, holding the position until 1919, then returning to govern the state from 1929 to 1933 after serving as Woodrow Wilson's ambassador to Siam.

The University of Arizona and Arizona State University were founded in 1885, followed by Northern Arizona University in 1899.