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Arizona: Statehood is achieved (1912)

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Arizona statehood ceremony 1912

Arizona: Statehood is achieved (1912)

Statehood is perfected by the inauguration of officials at Phoenix

Governor takes oath and delivers address before great throng that cheers first executive of forty-eighth state — business administration and democratic equality are keynotes of the inaugural address — others also installed

Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 14 – In the presence of an immense crowd of citizens of the state, many of whom had come from without the city, George W P Hunt was inaugurated governor at noon today. In keeping with his expressed wish the ceremony was a simple one. Oath was administered by Alfred Franklin who but an hour previous had taken his oath as chief justice of the supreme court.

Following this ceremony, a prayer was offered by Reverend Seaborn Crutchfield, after which Governor Hunt delivered his inaugural address. During its delivery he was frequently interrupted by applause. At its conclusion and when he was introduced to the assemblage by Justice Franklin, he was cheered for several minutes. There was every indication that those who were present not only approved of the thoughts expressed by the governor but wished him success in their execution. Then, too, they were cheering their first state governor.

With the simplicity that in matters official has come to be designated as “Jeffersonian” — characteristic of that part of the west that was last to be surrendered to civilization by the red man — George W P Hunt was inaugurated as the first state governor of Arizona today. A few hours earlier in the day, word had come by telegraph from the national capitol that President Taft had signed the proclamation admitting Arizona into the Union — the last of the territories on contiguous soil and the forty-eighth state of the union.

The ceremonies attendant upon the birth of the state and the induction into office of its first executive were entirely devoid of pomp and display that usually accompany inaugurations. No uniforms glittering with gold lace were in evidence. The military was conspicuous by its absence, for the new governor is averse to ostentation. There was but a meager display of even the silk hat and the frock coat, which only a few years ago invaded Arizona. It was a simple affair throughout — Phoenix has witnessed much more ceremonious functions.

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Arizona statehood ceremony 1912

Walks to the capitol

Accompanied by a number of the newly elected state officers and a few close friends, Governor Hunt, who began life in Arizona a quarter of a century ago as a waiter in a small mining camp restaurant at Globe, walked to the capitol building. It is just about a mile from the center of the city out broad Washington street, flanked on either side by unbroken lines of palms to the white stone capitol, which looks out over the city.

Others rode in streetcars, automobiles, carriages, or on horseback to the scene of the inauguration and when the governor and his escort arrived afoot, the lawn and flower-lined walks of the capitol grounds were crowded with cheering Arizonans, joyous in the first flush of complete citizenship. The large majority of them will this year, for the first time in their lives, cast their votes for a president of the United States.

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Oath is administered

The inauguration ceremonies were brief. After a prayer by Rev Seaborn Crutchfield, who was chaplain of the constitutional convention over which Mr. Hunt presided, the oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Edward Kent, of the territorial supreme court, his last official act in that capacity. Richard E Sloan, Arizona’s last territorial governor stood beside his successor. Then followed the inaugural address in which Governor Hunt promised the new state a “golden rule” administration and pledged anew his fealty to the constitution which he helped to frame.

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