Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Information.

We live in challenging times of an overtly racist and xenophobic President. We see the CIA being caught using spy devices on cellphones and television devices as revealed by the WikiLeaks leak. There is a fight against racism and structural inequality. We know that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere as the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has said. We should always connect the reality of racism being linked to class inequality and police brutality in America. For a long time, the 2 parties of one who is filled bigotry, racism, and xenophobia plus the other party for elitists and neoliberals have never been effectively to comprehensively deal with the needs and aspirations of the people. The trickled down economic view is just wrong. It has never worked in history since rich people alone can never give money to create a high standard of living for everyone else. The reactionaries utilizing policies against the oppressed and working class people must be opposed. The Black Lives Matter movement, the Standing Rock movement, the immigrant rights movement, and other movements show how progressive human beings are still fighting for social change. We need more solidarity. Solidarity builds power and it can defeat the agenda of Trumpism.

By 1900, the population of Phoenix was 5,554. On February 25, 1901, Governor Murphy dedicated the permanent state Capitol building. It was built on a 10 acre site on the west end of Washington Street, at the cost of $130,000. The Phoenix City Council levied a $5,000,000 tax for a public library after the state legislature. In 1901, a bill allowed for a tax to support free libraries. Andrew Carnegie sent money to a library in the city as well. The Carnegie Free Library opened in 1908 and it was dedicated to Benjamin Fowler. Back then, many tuberculosis patients came into the Phoenix weather. The reason was because of its dry, warm climate. Tuberculosis is a dangerous lung disease.  The Roman Catholic order of the Sisters of Mercy opened St. Joseph's Hospital in 1895, with 24 private rooms for tuberculosis patients. Although the Catholic population was small and poor, the city's Protestants were generous and funding a new hospital. In 1910 the sisters opened Arizona's first school of nursing. Today St. Joseph's Hospital is part of a corporation called Catholic Healthcare West, and is still operated by the Sisters of Mercy. Until 1901, the sisters also ran Sacred Heart Academy, an elite school for young ladies. The Sisters of the Precious Blood opened St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1917. Brophy College Preparatory for boys was opened in 1935 by the Jesuits. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act, allowing for dams to be built on western streams for reclamation purposes. Residents were quick to enhance this by organizing the Salt River Valley Water Users' Association (on February 7, 1903), to manage the water and power supply. The agency still exists as part of the Salt River Project.  Theodore Roosevelt Dam was started in 1906. It was the first multiple-purpose dam, supplying both water and electric power, to be constructed under the National Reclamation Act. On May 18, 1911, the former President himself dedicated the dam, which was the largest masonry dam in the world, forming several new lakes in the surrounding mountain ranges. On February 14, 1912, President William Taft was in existence. Phoenix in that year became the capital of the newly formed state of Arizona. This happened just six months after Taft had vetoed on August 11, 1911, a joint resolution giving Arizona statehood. Taft disapproved of the recall of judges in the state constitution. Compared to Tucson or Prescott, Phoenix was considered preferable as the capital because of its central location. It was smaller than Tucson, but outgrew that city within the next few decades, to become the state's largest city.

In 1913, Phoenix formed a new form of government. It went from a mayor council system to a council manager system. It was one of the first cities in the United States with this form of city government. After Arizona’s statehood, Phoenix’s popular grew massively. By the end of the first eight years under statehood, Phoenix’s population grew to 29,053. Two thousand were attending Phoenix Union High School. In 1920, Phoenix built its first skyscraper, the Heard Building. In 1928, Scenic Airways, Inc. saw profitability in flights in the Southwest. Scenic General Manager, J. Parker Van Zandt purchased land for Scenic in Phoenix, and named the new airport Sky Harbor, which was formally dedicated on Labor Day in 1929. On March 4, 1930, former President Calvin Coolidge dedicated a dam on the Gila River named in his honor. Because of a long drought the "lake" behind it held no water. Humorist Will Rogers, also a guest speaker, quipped, "If that was my lake I’d mow it."

Phoenix's population had more than doubled during the 1920's, and now stood at 48,118. After the stock market crash of 1929, Sky Harbor was sold to another investor, and in 1930 American Airlines brought passenger and air mail service to Phoenix. In 1935 the city of Phoenix purchased the single runway airport, nicknamed "The Farm" due to its isolation, and it has been owned and operated by the city to this day. During the 1930's couples used to fly into Sky Harbor solely to get married at the chapel, for Arizona was one of the few states that did not have a waiting period for marriage. It was also during the 1930's that Phoenix and its surrounding area began to be called "The Valley of the Sun", which was an advertising slogan invented to boost tourism. In 1940 as the Depression ended, Phoenix had a population of 65,000 (with 121,000 more in the remainder of Maricopa County). Its economy was still based on cotton, citrus and cattle, while it also provided retail, wholesale, banking, and governmental services for central Arizona, and was gaining a national reputation among winter tourists.

During World War II, Phoenix’s economy became a distribution center. It was turning into an embryonic industrial city. It mass produced military supplies. In the area, there were 3 Air Force fields like Luke Field, Williams Field, and Falcon Field. There were two large pilot training camps. Their names are Thunderbird Field, NO. 1 in Glendale and Thunderbird Field No. 2 in Scottsdale. These facilities coupled with the giant Desert Training Center, being created by General George S. Patton (east of Phoenix) brought thousands of new people into Phoenix. Mexican-American local organizations enthusiastically supported the war effort, providing encouragement for the large number of men who enlisted, and assistance for their families. Many civilians were employed in the war effort, bringing the community more money than ever before. Some projects were organized in cooperation with the dominant Anglo community, but most were operated separately. Numerous postwar politicians got their start during the war on the home front or from their experiences and contacts in the military. The postwar G.I. Bill of Rights provided mortgage funding for home ownership, allowing thousands to move out of small apartments. On Thanksgiving night on 1942, there was a brawl at a bar. This caused the MPs to arrest a black soldier. Later, black troops rebelled from segregated units. 3 men died and 11 were wounded in the rebellion. Most of the 180 men arrested and jailed were released, but some were court-martialed and sent to military prison. This existed in the midst of racial tensions in America and rebellions happened in Detroit and in other places where black innocent people were brutalized and murdered by racists. German prisoners of war built a secret tunnel at the prisoner-of-war camp which was located at the present site of Papago Park. In the Great Papago Escape of 23 December 1944, 25 POW's escaped. Local and federal officials took a month to recapture them all. During the war, public transportation was overwhelmed by the newcomers at a time when gasoline was rationed to 3 gallons a week and no new autos were built. In 1943, the transit systems operated seventeen streetcars and fifty-five buses. They carried 20,000,000 passengers a year. A fire in 1947 destroyed most of the streetcars, and the city switched to buses.

By Timothy

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