If you had moved to Tucson one hundred and seventy years ago, you would have lived in Mexico. Thanks to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on Feb. 2, 1848 for 15 million dollars, the United States acquired all or part of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and the whole state of Texas (including parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico). Of course, you were in the United States only if you lived north of the Gila River. It took the Gadsden Purchase of 10 million dollars to add the southern parts of New Mexico and Arizona (about 30,000 square miles).
The nation’s desire for a continental railroad, room for growth of population and the issue of the expansion of slavery all contributed to a delay for some states to achieve statehood. New Mexico beat Arizona to statehood by a month, and Arizona is the last state added in the continental USA.
Be sure to save a little extra time for the Celebration social at our SCVGS Feb. 14, 2012 meeting.