When we think of Arizona, we immediately think of Phoenix. But what do we know about this thriving metropolis in the Sonoran Desert (including that it is in the Sonoran Desert)? It has a very interesting history that will add a new level of appreciation for this “Diamond in the Desert” when you attend Sales Convention this coming March. Here are 5 interesting things that will round out your Phoenix knowledge:
1. Its founder died while in jail.
Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran who was among the first to realize the agricultural potential of the Salt River Valley, actively promoted the first irrigation system as part of developing the valley for farming. He was apparently quite a character, but did get the town established.
Unfortunately, he died in jail while awaiting trial for highway robbery. Go figure.
2. The town was almost named “Stonewall” or “Salina.”
Swilling had suggested the name “Stonewall” after Stonewall Jackson. Another proposal was to call the town “Salina” which had been an early name for the nearby Salt River. However, the name Phoenix eventually won out. A letter to a Prescott newspaper shows that the name was already in use by January 1868.
3. The first sheriff was elected because the other two candidates ended up in a shootout.
Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff of Phoenix in 1871. He was one of three people in contention for the position. As it turned out, the two remaining candidates faced off in a shootout that left one dead and the other withdrawing from the race. Guess they didn’t start calling it the “Wild West” for nothin’.
4. UFOs were sighted over the city.
The “Phoenix Lights” were an alleged UFO sighting in March of 1997. According to thousands of witnesses, varying descriptions were reported in a space of about 300 miles from the Nevada line, through Phoenix and on to the edge of Tucson.
Observations included a V-shaped formation of lights that produced no sound. In fact, the governor at the time was among the witnesses. Weird, but you can draw your own conclusions.
5. Phoenix is fast approaching being the 4th largest city in the United States.
The population growth of the Phoenix metro area has been nearly 4% per year for the past 40 years. While it is currently ranked 6th largest city in the United States by population, it is predicted to be 4th by the year 2020.
But perhaps the most important fact about Phoenix is that on March 12-14, 2017, it will be the home of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention. This is a can’t-miss event that will go a long way in building your business. Register now!