Arizona History – March 31st

Wednesday, March 31st

On this date in 1877, an epidemic of scarlet fever was reported in Prescott following the deaths of three children.

On this date in 1997, the University of Arizona men’s basketball team wins the state’s first ever NCAA basketball championship.

On this date in 2014, Charles H. Keating Jr., the notorious financier who served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure of the 1980s, dies at the age of 90.

On this date in 1998, the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate the first regular season game in franchise history in front of 50,179 fans at a crowded Bank One Ballpark. The Diamondbacks lost to Colorado 9-2.

(Photo : Charles H. Keating Jr)

One thought on “Arizona History – March 31st”

  1. View of the California sluice gates during celebration of the completed Laguna Dam. March 31, 1909. (National Archives and Records Administration) On March 30, 1909 Yuma was the site of the very first game played by a Major League team in Arizona—then a territory—but this milestone was not even noted at the time.  The big excitement for Yumans in 1909 was the completion of the Laguna Dam after four years of construction.  This meant that “diverted” water from the Colorado River could now be used to irrigate thousands of acres of farmland.  A three day celebration was scheduled, and excursions by train arrived from Phoenix, the Imperial Valley, and Los Angeles.  In addition to the White Sox game, other events included a parade depicting Yuma’s history and progress; free picture shows and band concerts; a public barbecue at John Gandolfo’s ranch; and a dedication ceremony at the Laguna Dam itself.  The Arizona Gazette estimated that 3,000 visitors flocked to the Laguna Dam, and that “the addresses were omitted owing to the magnitude of the crowd.”

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