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5 Facts About Arizona's Capital: How Well Do You Know Phoenix?

Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

By the time you get to Phoenix, the state capital of Arizona, you’ll want to know these five fascinating facts:

1. Phoenix is not only Arizona’s largest city in terms of population (and that’s not even counting its burgeoning band of suburbs), it’s the most populous of the 50 state capitals in the United States, according to mapmaker Rand McNally. U.S. Census Bureau figures put the city’s 2013 population at 1,513,367.

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2. There’s a modern and extensive irrigation system surrounding the capital city —
and it follows a pattern of irrigation canals dug by agricultural communities that existed in the area as long ago as 20,000 years into the past, according to the Office of the Governor.

3. Piestewa Peak, a mountain in Phoenix, used to be named Squaw Peak. It was renamed in honor of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, who was killed in 2003 in Iraq. She is thought to be the first Native American woman killed in combat for the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Interior.

4. Songwriter Jimmy Webb’s “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” supposedly about Webb’s breakup with his girlfriend, doesn’t actually represent a drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix; in fact, Webb told National Public Radio he was approached after a concert by a man with a map and a stopwatch to demonstrate it was impossible to make the drive as described in the song. “It's a kind of fantasy about something I wish I would have done,” Webb said.

5. The nickname of Phoenix pro basketball team, the Suns, was selected from among 28,000 entries submitted by fans in 1968. Selinda King won season tickets for one year and $1,000 for her entry, according to the National Basketball Association.

Other entries included: Area Zoners, Bartenders, Box Cars, Broncbusters, Cactus Cowboys, Copper Kings, Dribblers, Dudes, Electrodes, Heatwaves, Jumping Beans, Sun Gods, Sweethearts, Tarantulas, Woodpeckers, and Yardbirds.

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By the time you get to Phoenix, the state capital of Arizona, you’ll want to know these five fascinating facts.
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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