7 Horrifying Arizona Stories You Didn’t Learn About In History Class
If you’ve spent any amount of time reading history, you’re probably aware that it’s quite bloody. While we collectively remember some moments in history, others are quickly forgotten. Today, we’re going to look at some stories from Arizona’s history that are both horrifying and not widely known.
1. Camp Grant Massacre, 1871
In the early morning hours of April 30, 1871, a group of 150 Aravaipa and Pinal Apache were attacked by a group of vigilantes from Tucson. The group of Apaches was staying a short distance from Camp Grant (near present-day Winkelman) after surrendering their weapons to the U.S. Army in exchange for food and protection.
However, a group of ranchers, Tucson residents, and Tohono O’odham peoples believed this group to be leading raids in the Tucson area and, feeling the Army wasn’t doing enough, decided to take matters into their own hands. The vigilantes attacked the group of mostly women, children, and elders just before sunrise, killing and mutilating the bodies of 144 people before the Army had a chance to intervene.
You can read about this event in further detail in one of our previous articles
2. Bisbee Deportation, 1917
Bisbee may be remembered as a charming former mining town these days, but in 1917, it had a tarnished reputation following a forced deportation of miners. In May of that year, a union of miners presented a list of demands to the Phelps Dodge Corporation regarding safer working conditions and higher wages. The corporation refused to meet demands and approximately 85 percent of the city’s miners went on strike at the end of June.
Within days, Phelps Dodge worked with the sheriff and a massive posse to deport the striking miners. In all, they arrested 2,000 men — a combination of miners, shop owners, and supporters of the striking miners — on July 11, marched them to a nearby baseball field and forced 1,286 of them to board eastbound train cars at gunpoint. From there, they were deported 200 miles away to Hermanas, New Mexico with just the clothes on their back.
3. Japanese Internment Camps, 1942