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A Bit of Tucson History

April 06, 2020


When travel is more distant on the horizon, it’s a good time to get familiar with the places you’d like to visit from afar. History can teach us so much, and inform interesting itineraries for future trips.

The Tucson area was first inhabited by Paleo-Indians, who arrived in southern Arizona at least 12,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations near the Santa Cruz River found a village site dating from 2100 BC. Tucson became a Spanish military fort with the construction of Presidio San Agustín del Tucsón in 1775. It was part of the Mexican state of Sonora after Mexico gained independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821. In 1853, the United States acquired Tucson, which served as the capital of the Arizona Territory for a decade.

The Spanish name of the city, Tucsón, is derived from the O'odham name Cuk Ṣon, meaning "at the base of the black hill". This name is a reference to a basalt-covered hill now known as Sentinel Peak. Today, Tucson is sometimes referred to as "The Old Pueblo". In 2017, Tucson was the first American city to be designated a "City of Gastronomy" by UNESCO.

Tucson’s history leaves no doubt of all that there is to discover in its present.

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