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Phoenix, Arizona
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    (February 25, 1881- )
    Capital of Arizona
    County seat of Maricopa County
    Located in central Arizona in the Sonoran Desert at the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers
    Fifth-largest city in the United States with population of more than 1.5 million; center of metropolitan area with population of more than 3½ million
    Area encompasses more than 430 square miles
    Leading suburbs include Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert, Peoria, Avondale, and Goodyear
    Region originally occupied by Hohokam Indians between 700 and 1400 A.D.
    Colonized and recognized in 1868; townsite selected 1870
    Incorporated as a city in 1881 with a population of approximately 2,500
    Home to NFL's Arizona Cardinals (in suburb of Tempe, 1988- )
    Home to Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks (1998- )
    Home to NBA's Phoenix Suns (1968- )
    Home to NHL's Phoenix Coyotes (in suburb of Glendale, 1996- )
    Leading industries include tourism, agriculture, electronics, computers, telecommunications, aerospace, engineering, finance, and real estate.
    Nicknamed 'Valley of the Sun'
    The summers are extremely hot, with average daily high temperatures of 100°F or greater from June to September.
    Record high temperature of 122°F was recorded June 26, 1990. It was so hot, the airport had to close because it was too hot for airplanes to gain adequate lift.
    Traffic gets very heavy during rush hour, resulting in congestion on busy streets and freeways.
    Construction work on streets and freeways contributes to congestion.
    It is the fastest-growing metropolitan area among metro areas with more than 3 million people.
    Outside of a basic bus system, public transportation is limited.
    Sometimes the air is smoggy and visibility is obscured by a 'brown cloud.'
    Most people living in Phoenix were born outside of Arizona.
    Many retirees decide to leave their home towns to move to Phoenix.
    Until August 2004, bars closed early, at 1:00 AM.
    The Cardinals are perhaps the NFL's worst franchise and has the fewest fans of any NFL team.
    The major airport, Sky Harbor, ranks as the fifth-busiest airport in the United States.
    Phoenix ranks as one of the highest cities for auto theft, with many stolen cars disappearing to Mexico.
    Even though Phoenix is in a desert, much of the landscaping relies on grassy lawns and non-native plants that require a lot of water.
    Country singer and Phoenix resident Glen Campbell was charged with drunken driving, hit and run and kicking a police officer on Nov. 24, 2003.
    Is Phoenix still not hot enough for you? July 2003 was the hottest month in the city's history, with an average daily high of 109°F.
    There are more than 300 sunny days per year.
    Average high daily high temperature in winter is nearly 70°F.
    Subfreezing temperatures are very rare and snow is virtually nonexistent.
    Outdoor activities are popular because the weather is usually warm and dry.
    The Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to win the World Series, winning it all in their fourth season in 2001.
    Nine major league baseball teams come to the Phoenix area each year during spring training in February and March.
    All forms of alcohol beverages (beer, wine, and hard liquor) are readily available at most grocery stores.
    In 2000, Phoenix voters approved a referendum to provide funding to expand the bus system, and the city is planning to build a light rail system.
    Violations of air pollution standards have been decreasing in recent years.
    Outside of rush hour, traffic usually runs quite smoothly on most Phoenix streets and freeways.
    Cost of living is lower than in other metropolitan areas of comparable size in the USA.
    The median age of people in Phoenix is lower than the national median age.
    Continuous street and freeway construction is resulting in more freeway mileage and wider thoroughfares to improve traffic flow.
    The vibrant Mexican-American community and the Chinese Cultural Center are evidence of the city's cosmopolitan nature.
    Casino gambling is offered at several casinos on three Indian reservations located just outside the city limits.
    The metropolitan area is a mecca for golfers, with dozens of courses open year-round.
    The area is host to the Fiesta Bowl, one of college football's Big Four bowl games.
    The area hosted Super Bowl XXX in 1996 and will host Super Bowl XLII in 2008.
    The major airport, Sky Harbor, is very close to downtown and is efficient and accessible.
    There are 26,000 acres of desert parks and preserves, including South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the United States.
    Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy challenging hikes up peaks such as Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak, North Mountain, and Lookout Mountain.
    The beautiful desert scenery, exemplified by the giant saguaro cactus, provides Phoenix with a natural environment not found in any other urban area outside of Arizona.

Credit: Highpointer

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