Arizona is called the “Valentine State” because it was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912—Valentine’s Day. U.S. President William Howard Taft purposely chose the special day to sign Arizona’s statehood proclamation, and the term “Valentine State” was first cited in newspapers on February 10, 1912. The state of Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859—also Valentine’s Day.
Some residents preferred a more descriptive nickname, and “Copper State” was suggested. “Grand Canyon State” is the nickname that appears on Arizona license plates.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western United States and of the Mountain West states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. It has borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, and one point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona’s border with Mexico is 389 miles (626 km) long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.
Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912. It was previously part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain before being passed down to independent Mexico and later ceded to the United States after the Mexican–American War.
Wikipedia: Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a celebration observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a public holiday in most of them.
10 February 1912, Bridgeport (CT) Evening Farmer, pg. 1, col. 2:’
Washington, Feb. 10.—Arizona will become the “Valentine State” when on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at one p. m., President Taft will sign the proclamation officially adding the 48th star to the flag. The President announced this afternoon that he would sign the proclamation at that time.
11 February 1912, Bisbee (AZ) Daily Review, pg. 8, col. 4:
WEDNESDAY TO SEE STATEHOOD
Taft Misses Lincoln’s Birthday But Selects Another Day as Significant
THE VALENTINE STATE
The president’s proclamation admitting Arizona into the union of states will be a Valentine. A telegram from The Review’s correspondent at Washington, yesterday announced that the president had set next Wednesday, February 14, at 10 o’clock a.m., as the time for issuing his proclamation.
The president, it was assumed, was unable to issue the proclamation on February 12, the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, but he has done the next best thing, and will admit “We’uns” to the U. S. on St. Valentine’s Day.
If things are running smoothly in the president’s official household next Wednesday, Arizona will mate with the union on St. Valentine’s Day, and between the lines of the heavy stuff in the proclamation, the sentimental may read:
Roses are red, violets are blue;
Bees love honey, but—Oh, you Arizona!
15 February 1912, Bisbee (AZ) Daily Review, pg. 8, col. 3:
“The Valentine State.”
While newspapers have been conducting contests to decide upon a name for the state of Arizona, conditions have hit upon a name that will probably stick. In the ordinary course of events the proclamation was issued on Valentine Day and Arizona will be known as the Valentine state. The new state was so referred to by J. E. Morrison in his speech to the school children yesterday afternoon. Hundreds of post cards bearing the inscription, “The Valentine State admitted to the union on February, 14. The last but not the least.” were distributed by the Review and there were many mailed to every corner of the United States.
22 February 1912, Bisbee (AZ) Daily Review, pg. 6, col. 2:
MORE PROTEST ON “VALENTINE”
“Copper State” Is Insisted on as Euphonious and Containing Meaning
WOMAN IS WRITER
A vigorous protest against calling Arizona the “Valentine State” has been received by The Review and this one comes from a woman. Says she: “Though only a woman I vigorously protest against Arizona being called the ‘Valentine State.’ I am told that we have the largest copper mines in the country, the second largest in the world. Why should we not be known as the Copper State?”
19 July 1912, The Graham Guardian (Safford, AZ0, pg. 3, col. 4:
A STATE SONG
First to be Written Since Our Admission to Statehood
The first musical composition on the State of Arizona since admission has just been published and was composed by Mrs. Emma Freeman Todd, of Safford. The words are as follows:
Arizona, The Valentine State
Land of copper wealth untold,
Arizona, Beautiful Valentine.
14 February 1922, Los Angeles (CA)
ARIZONA NOW TEN YEARS OLD.
Entered Into Statehood February 14, 1912.
Constitution Approved by President Taft.
Name “Valentine State” is Not Usable.
Inasmuch as Statehood fell upon St. Valentine’s Day, there was suggestion that Arizona be known as “The Valentine State,” but this had to be abandoned, for Oregon has the same birthday. Arizona has no special designation, unless it would be “Copper State.”
OCLC WorldCat record
How Arizona became the Valentine state
Author: Lillian Stough
Publisher: Phoenix, AZ (1450 E. Peoria Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85020-1604) : Sage Press, [1996?]
Edition/Format: Print book : English
The Mystery in the Rocky Mountains
By Carole Marsh
Peachtree City, GA: Gallopade International / Carole Marsh Books
“And who knows what mystery the Valentine State has in store?”
“Valentine State?” Christina repeated his words in a question.
“Yep,” Papa said. “Arizona officially became a state on Valentine’s Day in 1912. It was the last of the continental states to be given a name, so it’s also nicknamed he Baby State,” Papa said, smiling at Mimi’s impressed expression.
University of Arizona—Libraries
“Becoming Arizona: The Valentine State” (exhibit)
<hr />\n<p>Cover of <em>Arizona, The New State Magazine</em>, Vol. I, No. 4, December 1910</p>
Courtesy of Special Collections
Cover of Arizona, The New State Magazine, Vol. I, No. 4, December 1910
Dates: August 22, 2011 - May 30, 2012
Location: Special Collections
Contact: Chrystal Carpenter
New exhibit and lecture series celebrate 100 years of Arizona statehood
On February 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state, and the last of the contiguous states, to join the Union. Known as the “Valentine State,” Arizona’s path to statehood was marked by a pioneering spirit, intermittent achievement and political debate. “Becoming Arizona: The Valentine State” recreates the colorful story of Arizona’s path to statehood.