Monday, March 06, 2017

Early March News

The founding of Phoenix has a long history. By 1863, the mining community of Wickenburg was the first to be established in what is now Maricopa County. It’s located to the northwest of modern Phoenix. During that time, Maricopa County had not yet been incorporated. The land was within Yavapai County, which included the major town of Prescott to the north of Wickenburg. When the Civil War came to a close, settlers from the north and east began to encroach on the Valley of the Sun. The U.S. Army set up Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to quell Native American uprisings. In order to create a supply of hay for their needs, the fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River in 1866. This was the first non-native settlement in the valley. Later, other nearby settlements would form and merge to become the city of Tempe. Yet, this community was incorporated after Phoenix. Phoenix’s history as a city started with Jack Swilling. He was an ex-Confederate who in November 1867 was on a visit to the Fort’s camp. He was the first to utilize the agricultural potential of the Salt River Valley. He promoted the 1st irrigation system, which was in part inspired by the ruins of Hohokam canals. Returning to Wickenburg, he raised funds from local gold miners and formed the Swilling Irrigating and Canal Company, whose intent was to build irrigation canals and develop the Salt River Valley for farming. The next month, December, Swilling led a group of 17 miners back to the valley, where they began the process of building the canals which would revitalize the area. There is no concrete evidence on who came up with the name for the new community, but anecdotal stories give credit to Darrell Dupa, who suggested they name it Phoenix. Swilling had suggested "Stonewall", after Stonewall Jackson, and another proposed name was Salina, which had been an early name for the Salt River. However, in light of the rebirth of a town after the collapse of the Hohokam civilization, the name Phoenix predominated. A letter to a newspaper in Prescott shows that this name was already in use by January 1868. The Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County, which at the time encompassed Phoenix. It officially recognized the new town of Phoenix on May 4, 1868 and formed an election precinct. The first post office was established on June 15, 1868, located in Swiling’s homestead, with Swiling serving as the postmaster. Phoenix grew. By 1870 in the U.S. census, the total Salt River Valley population had 240. Due to economic considerations benefiting the members of SRVTA, the more westerly town site was selected, and a 320 acres (1.3 km2) plot of land was purchased in what is now the downtown business section. On February 14, 1871, following a vote by the territorial legislature, Governor A.K. Safford issued a proclamation creating Maricopa County by dividing Yavapai County. In that same proclamation, he named Phoenix the county seat, but that nomination was subject to the approval of the voters. An election was held in May 1871, at which Phoenix' selection as the county seat was ratified. Quite a few members of SRVTA were also elected to county positions: among them were John Alsop (Probate Judge), William Hancock (Surveyor) and Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff. Barnum ran unopposed as the other two candidates had a shootout that left one dead and the other withdrawing from the race. The town's first government consisted of three commissioners. Several lots of land were sold in 1870 at the average price of $8. The first church in Phoenix opened in 1871 as did the first store. The first public school class was held on September 5, 1872, in the courtroom of the county building. By October 1873, a small school was completed on Center Street (now Central Avenue). The total value of the Phoenix Town site was $550, with downtown lots selling for between $7 and $11 each.

By 1875, the town had a telegraph office, sixteen saloons, and four dance halls, but the townsite-commissioner form of government was no longer working well. At a mass meeting on Oct. 20, 1875, an election was held to select three village trustees and other officials. Those first three trustees were John Smith (Chairman), Charles W. Stearns (treasurer), and Capt. Hancock (secretary). 1878 saw the opening of the first bank, a branch of the Bank of Arizona, and by 1880, Phoenix's population stood at 2,453. Later in 1880, the first legal hanging in Maricopa County was held, performed in town. In 1881, Phoenix continued to grow. It had a board trustee, but it became obsolete. 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, officially incorporating Phoenix with a population of approximately 2,500. On May 3, 1881, Phoenix held its first city election. Judge John T. Alsap defeated James D. Monihon, 127 to 107, to become the city's first mayor. Infrastructure and services developed in Phoenix especially to respond to crisis or events. After many smallpox outbreaks, the public health department was instituted during the early 1880’s. There was the volunteer fire department being created after 2 serious fires in the city. The public water system began in 1887. Other services which would see their beginnings in this decade were a private gas lighting company in 1886. A telephone company was created in 1886, a mule drawn streetcar system was made in 1887 and electric power came about in 1888. The coming of the railroad in the 1880’s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. A spur of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Phoenix and Maricopa, was extended from Maricopa into Tempe in 1887. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of wagon. Phoenix became a trade center, with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In response, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888. Earlier in 1888, the city offices were moved into the new City Hall at Washington and Central (later, the site of the city bus terminal until Central Station was built in the 1990’s). When the territorial capital was moved from Prescott to Phoenix in 1889 the temporary territorial offices were also located in City Hall. The Arizona Republic was a daily paper in 1890 with Ed Gill as its editor. The greatest flood in the Valley’s history was in 1891. The creation of the Phoenix Sewer and Drainage Department existed in 1892. The Phoenix Street Railway electrified its mule-drawn streetcar lines in 1893, with streetcar service continuing until a 1947 fire. Another important event which occurred in 1893 was the passage of a territorial law which allowed Phoenix to annex land surrounding the city, as long as it obtained the permission of the inhabitants of that area. This would begin a process which lasts till today, as the city annexed some surrounding terrain, growing from its original 0.5 square miles of territory to slightly over 2 square miles of territory by the turn of the century. On March 12, 1895, the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad ran its first train to Phoenix, connecting it to the northern part of Arizona. The additional railroad sped the capital city's economic rise. The year 1895 also saw the establishment of Phoenix Union High School, with an enrollment of 90.

For centuries, heroes have fought to improve the environment. In June 30, 1948 was the time when there was the first piece of legislation to lay down federal regulations of water quality. The law was the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. It was passed by Congress. Known as FWPCA, it would go through amendments in 1956, 1965, and 1972 in expanding the government’s authority in water pollution control. Sulfur dioxide emissions killed 20 people and harm over 600 people who went into the hospital in Donora, PA (in the date of October 30-31, 1948). It came in the form of smog. This caused the first U.S. conference on air pollution in 1950 as it was sponsored by the Public Health Service. Many people researched about how DDT caused the harm of the ecosystem like the disappearance of butterflies in New Jersey. The Nature Conservancy was formed in D.C. in 1951. Its purpose was to protect ecologically important lands and waters worldwide. Since its existence, it has protected more than 119 million acres of land and about 5,000 miles of rivers globally. It has more than one million members today and operates more than 100 marine conservation projects. A massive smog incident in New York City exacerbates asthma and other lung condition. It kills from 17-0 to 260 people in November of 1953. Extra smog incidents would kill people in NYC again in 1962 and in 1966. The Paley Commission released Resources for Freedom (on November 20, 1952) which details the United States’ increasing dependence on foreign sources of natural resources and argues for the necessity to transition to renewable energy. This document was one of the first to argue both for the dire need for Americans to stop their reliance on oil and for the potential of solar energy to fulfill that chasm. William Paley, chair of the presidential commission, establishes Resources for the Future later in 1952, an organization dedicated to independent environmental research. The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau (of 1953) introduces the world to underwater adventure, and ushers in a new global interest in oceanic life. In 1956, Cousteau’s documentary film of the same title will win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Even President Eisenhower in 1955 talked about the problem of air pollution in his State of the Union Address and in a Special Message to Congress back in January of 1955. The Air Pollution Control Act was passed in July 14, 1955. It addressed air pollution and it’s the first legislation of its kind. It deals mostly with state control and the federal government has no means of enforcement back then. The Sierra Club in April of 19856 prevents the construction of Echo Park Dam in Utah. Carbon levels increase by 1960 in above 300 parts per million. Rachel Carlson’s “Silent Spring” exposes the overuse of DDT in the environment. It wants to stop the overuse of pesticides. This book grew the modern environmental movement.  President John F. Kennedy charged his Science Advisory Committee to review the book’s claims. The Committee reports that the conclusions in Silent Spring are generally correct, and by 1972 DDT will be banned in the U.S. By 1961, California starts to regulate emission standards in its vehicles. The Clean Air Act of 1963 deals with air pollution and emission starts.

LBJ’s Great Society was heavily pro-environment. The Water Quality Act of 1965 increased federal control over water quality. The Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act sets the first federal automobile emission standards. It was signed in October 20, 1965. LBJ famously stated on February 23, 1966: “To sustain an environment suitable for man, we must fight on a thousand battlegrounds. Despite all of our wealth and knowledge, we cannot create a redwood forest, a wild river, or a gleaming seashore. But we can keep these we have.” LBJ signed the Endangered Species Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and other progressive legislation. Denis Hayes fought for environmental issues too. He and an U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (on December 1969) organize a national environmental teach in about environmental issues. Earth Day came about in April 1970. It wanted environmental justice and about 20 million people in America alone participated in it. Nixon allows Congress to pass the Environmental Protection Agenda in handling American environmental policy. NOAA monitors oceans in 1970. NOAA stands for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Nixon would pass pro-environmental legislation. Activists from the 1970’s to the present would fight for alternative energy, against toxic waste, for the protection of animal species, and for the development of our society constructively. Many environmentalists in world history were John Muir, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Aldo Leopold, Julia Hill, Henry Davis Thoreau, Chico Mendes, Wangri Maathai, Gaylord Nelson, David Brower, and other human beings.

Women’s basketball has existed for over 100 years in the world. It is very popular not only in America, but worldwide. Today, FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup features top national teams from continental championships. There is the Euro League Women that has teams from Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League. There is the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. Also, there is the famous WNBA League. Women’s basketball started in the winter of 1892 in Smith College.  Senda Berenson, an instructor at Smith, taught basketball to her students, hoping the activity would improve their physical health. Basketball's early adherents were affiliated with YMCAs and colleges throughout the United States, and the game quickly spread throughout the country. Berenson modified some of the rules. These included a court divided into three areas and nine players per team. Three players were assigned to each area (guard, center, forward) and could not cross the line into another area. The ball was moved from section to section by passing or dribbling. Players were limited to three dribbles and could hold the ball for three seconds. No snatching or batting the ball away from a player was allowed. A center jump was required after each score. Peach baskets and the soccer ball were the equipment. Variations of Berenson’s rules spread across the country via YMCAs and college. The first intercollegiate women’s basketball game was played between teams from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, in 1896. Women’s basketball popularity increased. Women’s basketball became part of the Olympic Games in 1976. Funding for women’s basketball in America grew in funding in the college level. New laws forbid discrimination based upon sex. In America, Title IX was passed in 1972 as a way to end sexual discrimination and stereotyping in admission to colleges and in academic subjects.  Between 1971 and 2000, Title IX has proven to have had a huge impact on female collegiate sports. “Sports participation among college women has risen from 372 percent over that time, from 32,000 to more than 150,000 women (McDonagh, Pappano, 2008, 108). Also now 33.5% of female students participate in sports (McDonagh, Pappano, 2008). The fight for gender equality continues. Professional leagues for are found globally. There we many attempts to create women’s professional leagues in America. The other attempts (like the Women’s Pro-Basketball League and the WBA) didn’t last over 10 years until the NBA founded the WNBA in 1996. The WNBA played its first game in June 21, 1997 and I remembered it like it was yesterday. The regular WNBA season is June to September (North American Spring and Summer). Most WNBA teams play at the same venue as their NBA counterparts. Most team names are also very similar to those of NBA teams in the same market, such as the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. Rules for women's basketball are nearly the same as the rules for men's basketball. Probably the biggest difference is that the circumference of the women’s basketball is one inch smaller than the circumference of the size of the men's basketball. Also, in American professional basketball, the women’s three-point line is slightly closer to the basket than men’s. As for the Olympics, since 1996, the U.S. women’s basketball team has won gold. The FIBA Africa Women's Championship is the women's basketball continental championship of Africa, played biennially under the auspices of FIBA, the basketball sport governing body, and the African zone thereof. Women’s basketball is global and it will remain forevermore.

By Timothy

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