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About Arizona

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912. Historically part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848. The southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase.

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Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. It has borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, and one point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona’s border with Mexico is 389 miles (626 km) long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.

Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees; the Colorado Plateau; some mountain ranges (such as the San Francisco Mountains); as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff, Alpine, and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, and national monuments.

About one-quarter of the state[8] is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Although federal law gave all Native Americans the right to vote in 1924, Arizona excluded those living on reservations from voting until its state Supreme Court ruled in 1948 in favor of Native American plaintiffs.

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Arizona is served primarily by its 6 Interstate Highways, 11 U.S. Highways, and 73 state routes. The longest interstate highway is Interstate 10 at 392.33 miles. I-10 is a primary west-east interstate that enters the state in the east from California, near the town of Ehrenberg, AZ, and continues west before exiting the state at the border of New Mexico near San Simon, AZ. I-10 is crucial to the cities of Phoenix and Tuscon. Interstate 40 is almost as long as I-10 at 359.11 miles. I-40 enters the state southwest of Kingman at the California state line, and continues until it exits the state near the Navajo Indian Reservation at the New Mexico state line. Interstate 8 is another east-west interstate that enters the state at the California state line at Yuma, AZ, and runs west until becoming I-10 in Casa Grande, AZ. The longest south-north interstate highway in the state is Interstate 17 at 145.76 miles long. I-17 begins at the I-10/US 60 interchange in Phoenix and continues north until I-40 in Flagstaff, AZ. Interstate 19 is the only other south-north interstate highway, and exists entirely in the state of Arizona. I-19 begins in the south at Nogales, AZ, and continues until reaching Tucson, AZ at I-10. The only other interstate is Interstate 15, which runs southwest-northeast from I-15 near Mesquite, NV to I-15 near St.George, UT.