Arizona becomes the 48th state of the United States of America

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

1912 President Taft signing Arizona Statehood Bill
Statehood is achieved

President Taft signs proclamation admitting Arizona into the union

At 10:02, signature of executive is affixed while moving picture machines make an accurate record for future generations of historic event that makes continental United States a completed sisterhood to commonwealth.

Washington, Feb. 14, 1912 – To the accompaniment of the whirr of three moving picture machines that faithfully recorded the historic incident and the clicking of a battery of cameras lined along the walls of his executive office, President Taft at 10 o’clock this morning attached his name to the proclamation admitting Arizona into the union as the forty-eighth and probably last state for at least half a century to join the sisterhood of states. The only bit of territory now remaining in the confines of the continental United States is the District of Columbia.

After signing a duplicate which will be sent to Arizona, the president looked up with a smile and said, “there you are.” He used a gold pen in signing which he later presented to Postmaster General Hitchcock. The room was crowded during the ceremony by all the Arizonans in Washington, numerous officials and many newspapermen.

After the signing it was announced that Taft will send the nomination of Richard E. Sloan to the senate to be U.S. District Judge in the new state. Taft sent a telegram to Sloan announcing the completion of the statehood preliminaries.

The moving pictures taken today may go into the records of the government to be handed down to future generations. From the time Taft signed the proclamation admitting Arizona to the hour when he took a short stroll through the White House grounds with Mrs. Taft the moving picture men were busy. As a wind-up scene of the executive officers they took an “action picture” of the newspaper men stationed at the offices as they talked to visitors who came to see Taft. They will be submitted to the president for his approval in a few days.

MORE  Inside vintage train cars: See a Deluxe Overland Limited Train (1910s)

Grand Canyon of the Colorado, Arizona 1898

Proclaims Arizona state

The proclamation of the admission of Arizona as a state, issued by President Taft, was as follows:

By the President of the United States of America.

A proclamation: Whereas, the congress of the United States did, by an act approved on the twentieth day of June, one thousand, nine hundred and ten, authorize the people of the territory of Arizona to form a constitution and a government, and provide for the admission of such state into the union on an equal footing with the original states, upon certain conditions in said act, specified, and whereas, said people did adopt a constitution and ask admission into the union.

And, whereas, the congress of the United States did pass a joint resolution, which was approved on the twenty-first day of August, one thousand, nine hundred and eleven, for the admission of the state of Arizona into the union, which resolution required that, as a condition precedent to the admission of the said state, the electors of Arizona should, at the time of the holding of the state election as recited in said resolution, vote upon and ratify and adopt an amendment to section one of article eight of their state constitution, which amendment was proposed and set forth at length in said resolution of congress.

And, whereas, it appears from information laid before me that the first general state election was held on the twelfth day of December, one thousand, nine hundred and eleven, and that the returns of said election upon said amendment were made and canvassed as in section seven of said resolution of congress provided. And, whereas, it further appears from information laid before me, that a majority of the legal votes cast at said election upon said amendment were in favor thereof, said that the governor of said territory has, by proclamation, declared the said amendment a part of the constitution of the proposed state of Arizona. And, whereas, the governor of Arizona has certified to me the result of said election upon said amendment, and of the said general election.

And, whereas, the conditions imposed by the said act of congress, approved on the twentieth day of January, one thousand, nine hundred and ten, and by the said joint resolution of congress, have been fully complied with.

Now, therefore, I, William Howard Taft, president of the United States of America, do, in accordance with the provisions of the act of congress and the joint resolution of congress herein named, declare and proclaim the fact that the fundamental conditions imposed by congress on the state of Arizona to entitle that state to admission, have been ratified and accepted, and that the admission of the state into the union on an equal footing with the other states is complete. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this fourteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twelve, and of the independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and thirty-sixth.

William Howard Taft
By the President

Huntington Wilson
Acting Secretary of State

Taming the Wild West: Statehood for Arizona? (1893)

Top photo: President William Howard Taft signing the Arizona Statehood Bill (February 14, 1912)

More stories you might like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.