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Arizona
Arizona is located in the Southwestern United States and is known for it desert landscape, the Grand Canyon and its role in the history of the American West. Arizona has a varied landscape with deserts in the south and west portions of the state and extensive forests in the north and central parts of Arizona. Known as the Grand Canyon State Arizona attracts millions of visitors to places such as Lake Havasu, Sedona as well as its many parks and national monuments. Arizona is surrounded by Utah on the north, New Mexico on the east, California and Nevada to the west and has a 389 mile border with Mexico.

Arizona was the 48th state admitted to the union February 14, 1912. It is the 6th largest state in land size with a total area of 113, 998 square miles and is currently ranked 17th in population with over 6.17 million people (2006). Among Arizona's unique attractions is the Barringer Meteorite Crater, one of the best preserved impact craters in the world located about 25 miles west of Winslow Arizona.

The origin of Arizona's name is uncertain in that it may be an Aztec word, 'arizuma' which means 'it has silver' or an O'Odham word 'ali san' which means 'small spring'.

The first Euro-Americans to explore the region were a Franciscan explorer Father Marcos de Niza in 1539 and Coronado's expedition in 1540. Arizona became part of the United States after the Mexican-American war in 1848. In 1853 the Gadsden Purchase added the land below the Gila River. Arizona was part of the
New Mexico Territory until the southern part of New Mexico succeeded from the Union in 1861 to join the Confederate States. On February 23, 1863 the state of Arizona was made a territory and consisted of the western half of the New Mexico Territory. In the 19th century Mormons settled in Arizona forming towns such as Mesa, Safford, Tempe, Prescott and Phoenix.

Arizona is a major tourist destination with attractions such as the Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert and many other national and state parks. Arizona provides for its tourism economy with thousands of hotel and motel rooms that range from the very expensive to the reasonably priced.
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