Arizona is a state immersed with a rich history. There’s been many famous Arizonans including rock singer Stevie Nicks and film star Emma Stone as well as an exciting past including the infamous O.K. Corral gunfight. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
To celebrate our beautiful state, here are some fun and interesting factoids about Arizona to fascinating tidbits and stories connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In all, there’s a lot to learn about the Grand Canyon State.
Stephenie Meyer, longtime Arizona resident, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and popular author of the YA book series Twilight, was named the second bestselling author of the decade (according to Amazon), second only to JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
- During the 19th century, camels were sometimes used to transport goods across Arizona because they could go across the desert longer than mules or horses without water.
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has a strong connection to Arizona. He joined the German Air Force when he was a young man and earned his wings as a fighter pilot in Phoenix, Arizona in 1962. He then went on to attend airline pilot school and in 1975 (at the young age of 34) became Director of the new Lufthansa Arizona Training School for pilots.
- The Hohokams (meaning “the people who have gone”) were the inhabitants of an ancient society believed to be destroyed by drought. Hundreds of years later, the city of Phoenix was named after the mythical phoenix bird (which is reborn from its ashes) because the newly settled town “sprung” from the ruins of this ancient civilization.
- Camilla Eyring was born in the Mormon Colonies of Mexico. As a teenager she escaped with her family to Texas when the Mexican revolution broke out. Eventually, she and her family ended up in Pima, Arizona where she met Spencer W. Kimball, who later became her husband. To make the story more interesting, her brother is the renowned chemist Henry Eyring (who received his many degrees from the University of Arizona), the father of Apostle Henry B. Eyring. So President Spencer W. Kimball is actually Henry B. Eyring’s uncle.