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244 years old, Tucson celebrates a birthday

Posted at 10:48 PM, Aug 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 01:48:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Ask Rick Collins, of the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum to teach you about Tucson's history and he'll show you Tucson's history.

"I think Tucson is defined by the beautiful weather and incredible amount of tolerance for new people since there's always been new people here."

Collins says Tucson was founded by an Irishman , a year before the founding of the United States, 1775.

"It's a time when there's still a real melting pot of people from African people to Irishmen, Italians. there's all kinds of people and around 1785 though it becomes more Mestizzo, more Mexican if you will" Collins said.

Lots of diversity in early Tucson, but it's namesake wasn't Mexican, Irish or Italian.

"Tucson's name is basically an O'odham word. Most people say it means 'at the foot of the black rock' or something to that effect."

That alludes to the black rocks you see when you look at mountain ranges in the city.

Why the first Tucsonans settled here, Collins said is pretty practical.

"Why is Tucson here you might ask and a lot of that is because of all the open land and because of the different rivers that were here."

A city rich in culture, history and diversity, what could it possibly need to sustain itself for another 244 years?

Collins said the same thing it's needed the first 244 years.

"Tucson's challenges are the resources it has, primarily water...the future, of course, of Tucson is going to depend on us handling our water more than any other resource, it is the oil of the desert."