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The largest city in area in the United States is Juneau, Alaska. It covers 3,248 square miles, yet the city population is fewer than 30,000.

The top of the Empire State Building in New York was buit to be a mooring place for dirigibles (Blimps).
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City History

Phoenix or "the place is hot" translated from Western Apache is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is the most populous capital city in the United States. Its physical location is along the banks of the normally dry Salt River. It was incorporated as a city on February 25, 1881. Residents of Phoenix are known as Phoenicians. Phoenix had an estimated 2006 population of 1,512,986, making it the fifth largest city in the United States. Phoenix has expansive city limits (515 square miles), and it has the 10th highest land area for a city in the United States.

As early as 700 AD, the Hohokam civilization occupied the land that would become Phoenix. The Hohokam created roughly 135 miles of irrigation canals, making the land arable. Paths of these canals would later become used for the modern Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. It is believed that between AD 1300 and AD 1450 periods of drought and severe floods led to the Hohokam's disappearance.

Passing through the area in 1867, Jack Swilling of Wickenburg, Arizona stopped to rest at the foot of the White Tank Mountains and observed land that had great potential for farming. The terrain and climate were optimal, except for a lack of precipitation and suitable irrigation. Swilling remedied the situation by having a series of canals built, which followed the paths of the preexisting Hohokam canals. A small community formed about four miles east of the present city. Swilling, a former Confederate soldier, wanted to name the city "Stonewall," after Gen. Stonewall Jackson. Others suggested the name of "Salina." However, neither name was suitable to the community. Finally, Lord Darrell Duppa suggested the name "Phoenix," as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization. The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, which, at the time, encompassed Phoenix, officially recognized the town of Phoenix on May 4, 1868 and formed an election precinct. The first post office was established on June 15, 1868, with Jack Swilling serving as the postmaster.

President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the present site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. The total value of the Phoenix Townsite was $550, with downtown lots selling for between $7 and $11 each. A short time later, a telegraph office, 16 saloons, four dance halls and two banks were open. By 1881, Phoenix had outgrown its original townsite-commissioner form of government. The 11th Territorial Legislature passed "The Phoenix Charter Bill", incorporating Phoenix and providing for a mayor-council government. The bill was signed by Governor John C. Fremont on February 25, 1881. Phoenix was incorporated with a population of approximately 2,500, and on May 3, 1881,

Historic Figures

John "Jack" Swilling (1830 –1878)



John "Jack" Swilling (1830 –1878)
John "Jack" Swilling was one of the original founders of the city of Phoenix, Arizona. He had a dual reputation for kindness and a rough, tough side. Biographers have indicated he may have killed a dozen or more men, once shooting and killing a man in Wickenburg, Arizona in self-defense, then scalping him. He was also said to be addicted to morphine and alcohol.

June 25, 2017

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