Brief Overview of Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona, is rich with history. The name Tucson is derived from the Indian word, ‘Chuk-son,’ meaning village of the dark spring at the foot of the mountains. It played a part in the romance of the “Old West.” and was also part of the great gold rush when prospectors moved east from California into Arizona. The effects of this migration were lasting, since Tucson became the center of a mining industry that continued unabated into the 1970s. Much of its history is the Native Americans and their settlement. Many tribes that existed in the 1600s are no longer around today. Several were completely wiped out. To learn about the Native culture, Tucson is a big part of that.
During Tucson’s existence, it was governed by 4 different governments: Spain, Mexico, the United States, and the Confederacy. It was founded by Spain and some of the earliest settlers were missionaries from Spain. The first one was Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit missionary who arrived in 1687. Many battles were fought between the Spaniards and the Native Indians. Many lives were lost and there was too much bloodshed.
By 1775, there were many Spanish settlers there and they built the Presidio as protection. They wanted to protect themselves from the Apache Indians. Even after all those years, part of the wall still remains today. It is named “Old Pueblo.”
Today Tucson, Arizona, is one of the largest cities in Arizona, populating almost a million people. It is home to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base nearby. During World War II the city contributed to the war effort when the government established this air force base.
Tourism is big business in Tucson. There is a large museum, the Arizona Historical Society – Tucson Museum, which is a wonderful attraction for the young and the old. It showcases the mining, gem and mineral history and tombstones are on display. The wars that were fought and the legends of Tucson are for everyone to learn about at the historical museum.
The city of Tucson is the home of the University of Arizona. This university was established in 1885 and was the first university in the state of Arizona. Classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, the first building constructed on the 40 acre campus, and still in use to this day. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the University maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation. Currently there are over 43,000 students that attend U of A. Many of these students are studying medicine which is one of the top professions students choose to study at U of A.
There is much to see, do and experience in Tucson, Arizona. Whether you choose to visit or live in Tucson, there is something for everyone. From young families starting out or elders looking for an “old world” historical home, Tucson is abundant with life and history.