Fact or Crap? 10 Quirky and Possibly True Facts About Arizona
In the Desert Southwest, legends abound. We've all heard legends and rumors about our state. What's True? What's Fiction? What's STRANGER than Fiction? You decide as we unpack 10 Quirky and Possibly True Facts about Arizona.
1. The London Bridge is in Arizona...and it was Brought from London, England to Lake Havasu Arizona, Brick by Brick
TRUE. According to Wikipedia, London Bridge once spanned the River Thames in London, England, between the City of London and Southwark, in central London.
Common Council of the City of London member Ivan Luckin proposed selling the London Bridge in 1968, when it was determined it would need to be replaced.
On 18 April 1968, the bridge was purchased by Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for $2.46 million. The claim that McCulloch mistakenly believed he was buying the more impressive Tower Bridge was later denied by Luckin. Before the bridge was taken apart in London, each granite facing block was marked for later reassembly.
The bridge was reassembled in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and re-dedicated on 10 October 1971.
2. There's a Desert Plant That ONLY Grows in Arizona
TRUE. According to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, there is a plant that ONLY grows here in Arizona. It's the Saguaro Cactus, and while it's become a symbol of the desert, it only grows in Arizona. And this succulent only grows in certain parts of Arizona, at that.
Saguaros are found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert, and only grow between sea level up to around 4,000 feet in elevation. Also, Saguaros grow very slowly - only grow 1 to 1.5 inches in its first eight years, while an adult saguaro can reach 60 feet in height.
3. The Shootout at the OK Corral Lasted Less than a Minute - and Nobody Even Cared for Nearly 50 Years
TRUE. The infamous Shootout at the OK Corral only lasted around 30 seconds. This little blip was forgotten history, up until 1931. A book entitled, “Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal” was published. Old West enthusiasts eagerly devoured the exciting account.
But it wasn't until the 1957 film, “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” that the event was named and popularized. Folklore and Hollywood have gone on to conflate and misrepresent the conflict.
Good news for Tombstone, which is still a popular tourist destination in Southeastern Arizona, all thanks to 30 seconds that were almost forgotten.
4. Arizona is Always Really Hot and May Be the Hottest Place in the US
FALSE (mostly). Parts of Southern Arizona, particularly in Maricopa County, get into triple digit temperatures at the height of summer, but heading into the mountains of Northern Arizona, the higher elevations don't even crack the top 10 for average annual temperatures nationwide.
Texas finds itself in the number one spot, where summer temps creep up to an average 81.3 degrees statewide. Louisiana is a close second with an average of 81.1 degrees, and Florida rounds out the top three at around 80.5 degrees. Arizona rates 11th at average 77.3 degrees over the summer.
5. Arizona May Be the Hottest Place on Earth
TRUE. Wait. How can Arizona be the hottest place on Earth when I just said it wasn't?
The entire state on average, isn't that hot. But according to an article written in May of 2021 by Richard Stone for the Weather Channel, "A new analysis of high-resolution satellite data finds...the Sonoran Desert along the Mexican-U.S. border... recently reached a sizzling 177.4°F."
So, yeah. Arizona - part of it, anyway - is also the hottest place on Earth.
5. Arizona is the Only Place in the World to See the Wild Jackalope
FALSE. I think someone made this up to sell more postcards. You won't see a wild Jackalope in Arizona - or anywhere else, for that matter.
Legend describes this animal as part jackrabbit, part antelope, but this animal only exists in our minds. You can still pick up "jackalope" postcards to send home to mom and dad when you visit Arizona, though. Hey, we know a good time when we see it.
6. Pancho Villa Rode his Horse Up the Steps of the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas
TRUE. There's a plaque at the foot of the grand, sweeping staircase at the Gadsden Hotel. It tells the story of the time Pancho Villa rode his horse up the stairs. The horse's hoof even chipped the 7th stair from the bottom, and if you look carefully, you'll notice the chip is still there.
7. There's a Place in Arizona that Gets More Sun than Anywhere on the Planet
TRUE. The city of Yuma is located in the southwestern part of Arizona, right near the U.S./Mexico border. Yuma gets more sun than anywhere else, with an average of 4,015 hours of sunshine every year.
8. Women in Arizona Had the Right to Vote Eight Years Before the Rest of the Nation
TRUE. In 1891, the Arizona Suffrage Association was formed in Arizona, and in 1897, taxpaying women gained the right to vote in school board elections. On November 5, 1912, women's suffrage passed in Arizona.
In 1913, the voter registration books opened to women and by 1914, women in Arizona participated in their first primary elections.
The US Congress didn't pass the 19th amendment, granting women nationwide the right to vote, until June 4, 1919. The amendment wasn't fully ratified until August 18, 1920.
9. Arizona's Reputation for Venomous Snakes is Overblown
FALSE. Arizona has 13 species of rattlesnakes, more than any other state. In all, Arizona has an extremely high concentration of venomous snakes with 21 in total. According to Movoto.com, here is a list of the most venomous rattlesnakes in Arizona:
10. Arizona Celebrates Daylight Savings Time with a Parade
FALSE. Actually, we ignore Daylight Savings Time - almost completely.
Arizona is the only state besides Hawaii that does not observe Daylight Savings time. As a matter of fact, Arizona doesn't deal with Daylight Saving Time at all, and hasn't done so for about the last 40 years.
In 1973, a federal law was enacted with the aim to help oil shortages, reasoning that turning lights on later saved energy. Arizona asked for an exemption, citing the state's extreme heat.
If Arizona were to observe Daylight Saving Time, the sun would stay out until 9 p.m. in the summer.
We love to laugh at the rest of the country as they're messing around with their sleep schedules twice a year, but there is a downside to not changing the clocks when the rest of the country changes: we're constantly having to adjust our meeting times and other events to coordinate with people in other states.
Even though their time changes, the meeting times remain the same. Except for Arizonans - we get to constantly figure out the time difference. When will the rest of the nation catch up to our forward thinking? That remains to be seen!