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Arizona is unique among American states, not only in its geography and geology but also in the diversity of its climate, in its indigenous animal and plant life, and in the history of its first inhabitants-communities of Indians whose ancestors arrived on the scene more than 20,000 years ago. Arizona is also the youngest of the contiguous mainland states of America...precisely because of these very same factors. Its climate, geography and Indian tribes were major barriers that prevented the territory from becoming widely populated by the Spanish, Mexicans and early European-Americans, and from being used as a cross-roads by American fur/pelt trappers, gold prospectors and settlers who began pushing west in the mid-1800s. Now, it is exactly these same factors that make Arizona a great place to live as well as a world-famous travel destination. The stories of how Arizona finally became what it is today are as amazing as the lay and the beauty of the land. Great background reading for residents and visitors alike, and an ideal gift.