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Tucson(to͞o`sŏn'), city (1990 pop. 405,390), seat of Pima co., SE Ariz.; inc. 1877. Situated in a desert plain surrounded by mountains, Tucson is an important and growing transportation and tourist center; its dry, sunny, and hot climate attracts vacationers and health seekers. An international airport is there. The city has missile-systems, electronics, optics, and biotechnology research industries, and serves as the processing and distribution center for the cotton and livestock raised in the area and for the many mining (chiefly copper) operations. Machinery; electronic and communications equipment; textiles; and metal, plastic, paper, and rubber products are manufactured.
The first Spanish settlers arrived in the late 17th cent., and in 1700, Father Eusebio KinoKino, Eusebio Francisco
, c.1644–1711, missionary explorer in the American Southwest, b. Segno, in the Tyrol. He was in 1669 admitted to the Jesuit order. A distinguished mathematician, he observed the comet of 1680–81 at Cádiz, publishing his results in his
..... Click the link for more information. founded Mission San Xavier del Bac 9 mi (14.5 km) south of the Native American village of Tucson. The city was established (1776) as a walled presidio. Tucson became a military border post of New Spain, of Mexico, and, after its transfer under the Gadsden PurchaseGadsden Purchase
, strip of land purchased (1853) by the United States from Mexico. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) had described the U.S.-Mexico boundary vaguely, and President Pierce wanted to insure U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. , of the United States. It served as territorial capital from 1867 to 1877. In 1873, Fort Lowell was built 2 mi (3.2 km) north of the city. The Southern Pacific RR (see Southern Pacific CompanySouthern Pacific Company,
transportation system chartered (1865) in California and later reincorporated in Kentucky (1885) and Delaware (1947). Small railroads—known collectively as the Southern Pacific—were built and merged after 1865 in S California to provide
..... Click the link for more information. ) arrived in 1880.
Among the city's many points of interest are the "Old Adobe" (1868); Colossal Cave; Fort Lowell (reconstructed, now a museum); and the beautiful nearby San Xavier mission (present building erected 1783–97); and many fine vernacular mid-century modern structures. Tucson has a symphony orchestra as well as opera and ballet companies. Museums include the Tucson Museum of Art, the Univ. of Arizona Museum of Art, and the Arizona Historical Society Museum, and the city is the seat of the Univ. of Arizona. A fiesta and rodeo is held each February, and several major-league baseball teams have spring training camps in the area. Tucson Mountain Park—with "Old Tucson Studios," a movie-set replica, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum—and Saguaro National Park are to the west, and the Titan Missile Museum is to the south. Nearby military installations are the large Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and U.S. Fort Huachuca, an army electronics proving ground, with strategic communications headquarters and an intelligence school.
a city in the southwestern USA, on the Santa Cruz River, in Arizona. Population, 285,000 (1974). Tucson is a transportation junction and the center of a region that supports irrigated farming and the pasturing of livestock. Copper, complex metal ores, and uranium are mined nearby. The city has enterprises of the aerospace, radio-electronics, metalworking, food-processing, and nonferrous metallurgical industries. Tucson is a climatic health resort. A university is located in the city.