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Timeline

Tempe History Museum Image  c1400 The Hohokam culture disappears in the Tempe area in the 14th and 15th centuries.  
Tempe History Museum Image  1700 Spanish missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino names and maps the Rio de Salado (Salt River).
Tempe History Museum Image  1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). The treaty gives all of present-day Arizona north of the Gila River to the United States.
Tempe History Museum Image  1854 With ratification of the Gadsden Purchase, land south of the Gila River is purchased and becomes part of the United States, April 25, 1854.
Tempe History Museum Image  1863 The Organic Act creating Arizona as a separate territory is signed by President Lincoln on February 24, 1863.
Tempe History Museum Image  1865 Fort McDowell established on the lower Verde River, east of the Salt River Valley.
Tempe History Museum Image  1866 Former soldier John Y. T. Smith gets a contract to supply hay for soldiers' horses and mules. Smith hired Hispanic laborers who settled near the fort to harvest wild hay from the Salt River. The next year Smith and his employees established a hay camp on the Salt River, becoming the first settlement in the Salt River Valley.
Tempe History Museum Image  1870 The U.S. Census reports that the Arizona Territory has a population of 9,658. The Salt River Valley had a population of 240, which included 115 Hispanics.
Tempe History Museum Image  1871 Charles T. Hayden establishes a store and freighting headquarters on the south side of the Salt River. Hayden built the first structure on his homestead in October, 1871 [this is recognized as Tempe's "official" founding date, although there were already people living in the Tempe area].
Tempe History Museum Image  1872 William H. Kirkland donates 80 acres of land near Tempe Butte to Hispanic laborers who helped construct the Kirkland-McKinney ditch. The laborers purchased lots to raise money for a church. They named their settlement San Pablo.
Tempe History Museum Image  1874 Charles T. Hayden opens his flour milling operation using water from the Tempe Irrigating Canal.
Tempe History Museum Image  1877 Hiram C. Hodge notes that there are two stores and a population of about 100 in Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1878 Mesa is founded.
Tempe History Museum Image  1879 The Hayden's Ferry Post Office is renamed the Tempe Post Office.
Tempe History Museum Image  1881 Phoenix is incorporated on February 5, 1881.
Tempe History Museum Image  1881 The gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone takes place on October 26, 1881
Tempe History Museum Image  1886 The Territorial Normal School opens in Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1887 The new Phoenix and Maricopa Railroad links Tempe with Phoenix and the mainline at Maricopa.
Tempe History Museum Image  1887 The Salt River Valley News, renamed the Tempe News, is first printed by Curt Miller who embarks on a 55-year tenure as publisher. It is published on Saturdays.
Tempe History Museum Image  1888 The Tempe Land and Improvement Company is incorporated.
Tempe History Museum Image  1889 The Territorial Normal School is renamed the Arizona Territorial Normal School.
Tempe History Museum Image  1892 The Kibbey Decision grants Tempe land owners rights to a guaranteed supply of water.
Tempe History Museum Image  1894 The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors incorporates the town of Tempe. Dr. Fenn J. Hart is named the first mayor.
Tempe History Museum Image  1895 The Tempe Daily News becomes the town's official newspaper.
Tempe History Museum Image  1896 Tempe holds its first municipal election.
Tempe History Museum Image  1898 Electric street lights are installed in the downtown area.
Tempe History Museum Image  1898 The Spanish-American War is fought in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Tempe History Museum Image  1900 The Sunset Telephone Company brings the first phone service to Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1902 Tempe's first domestic water system is completed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1902 A volunteer fire department is organized in Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1909 Tempe's first high school is constructed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1910 The Kent Decree established guidelines for surface water distribution rights.
Tempe History Museum Image  1911 The Roosevelt Dam is completed on the Salt River.
Tempe History Museum Image  1911 Construction begins on the Ash Avenue Bridge.
Tempe History Museum Image  1912 Arizona becomes the 48th state on February 14, 1912.
Tempe History Museum Image  1912 Carl Trumbull Hayden is elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Tempe History Museum Image  1912 The first municipal sewer system is constructed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1913 The first municipal sewer system is constructed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1914-18 World War I is fought in Europe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1915 Town Council passed Ordinance No. 108, establishing a Department of Public Works responsible for water, sewer, public buildings, parks, grounds, and repair of streets.
Tempe History Museum Image  1920 The price of cotton plummets, leading to financial disaster for cotton farmers in the Salt River Valley. Tempe, home of the local cotton growers association, is hit particularly hard.
Tempe History Museum Image  1920 Tempe has a population of 1900.
Tempe History Museum Image  1923 The Farmer and Merchants Bank fails.
Tempe History Museum Image  1923 The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company becomes part of the Salt River Project.
Tempe History Museum Image  1923 The swimming pool at Tempe Beach Park opens.
Tempe History Museum Image  1923 The Tempe Rotary Club is formed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1925 Adolpho Romo brings a suit against the Trustees of the Tempe Elementary School in the Maricopa County Superior Court asking that his children be admitted to the Tenth Street School on the same terms and conditions as other children. At that time, the district required his four children, and all Hispanic children, to attend the Eighth Street School. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph S. Jenckes ruled in his favor.
Tempe History Museum Image  1929 The Tempe Lions Club is formed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1929 The stock market crashes, plunging the country into the Great Depression. The effects were not felt immediately in the Salt River Valley.
Tempe History Museum Image  1930 The population of Tempe is 2,495.
Tempe History Museum Image  1931 The Mill Avenue Bridge is completed and replaces the Ash Avenue bridge as the auto crossing.
Tempe History Museum Image  1932 Dr. B. B. Moeur is elected Governor of Arizona.
Tempe History Museum Image  1936 John R. Murdock, a professor at Arizona State Teachers College, is elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Tempe History Museum Image  1940 The population of Tempe is 2,900.
Tempe History Museum Image  1944 Tempe’s first official hospital, Tempe Community Hospital, opens.
Tempe History Museum Image  1945 Arizona State Teachers College is renamed Arizona State College at Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1946 The Tempe Beach Pool "No Mexicans Allowed" segregation policy is ended. Hispanic Tempe veterans lead the effort to desegregate the pool.
Tempe History Museum Image  1950 Howard Pyle is elected Governor of Arizona.
Tempe History Museum Image  1950 The population of Tempe is 7,684.
Tempe History Museum Image  1958 Arizona voters change the name of Arizona State College at Tempe to Arizona State University.
Tempe History Museum Image  1958 ASU Sun Devil Stadium is built. It is expanded several times over the years.
Tempe History Museum Image  1960 Tempe's population grows to 24,897.
Tempe History Museum Image  1962 Broadway Plaza is completed at Broadway Road and Mill Avenue.
Tempe History Museum Image  1964 Tempe becomes a charter government city and elects its mayor directly for the first time.
Tempe History Museum Image  1964 Laird and Dines Drug Store closes after 68 years of operation at the corner of Mill Avenue and Fifth Street.
Tempe History Museum Image  1964 ASU has 16,818 students, with a campus on 300 acres of land.
Tempe History Museum Image  1965 Tempe's population is now 45, 919 -- an increase of 84.4% in five years.
Tempe History Museum Image  1967 Tempe adopts its first General Plan to direct the development of the city.
Tempe History Museum Image  1968 Ground is broken for a new Post Office facility at Southern and College avenues.
Tempe History Museum Image  1968 Carl Trumbull Hayden retires from the United States Senate after 56 years of service in Congress. Hayden still holds the record for the longest term of service in the Congress.
Tempe History Museum Image  1968 ASU has 23,341 students.
Tempe History Museum Image  1968 The Interstate-10 freeway is built through Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1968 Diablo Stadium is built.
Tempe History Museum Image  1969

The first Mill Avenue arts and crafts fair is held.

 

Tempe History Museum Image

 1969 Big Surf Waterpark opened in 1969. Construction began right at the beginning of the year and it officially opened on October 24th, 1969.  
Tempe History Museum Image  1970 A new City Hall complex is completed.
Tempe History Museum Image  1970 Construction of "The Lakes" housing development begins just outside of Tempe's city limits.
Tempe History Museum Image  1970 Tempe's population is 63,550.
Tempe History Museum Image  1971 The first building constructed specifically for the Tempe Public Library is completed at Southern Avenue and Rural Road. Today this building houses the Tempe History Museum.
Tempe History Museum Image  1972 The City of Tempe purchases land for Kiwanis Park.
Tempe History Museum Image  1974 The City of Chandler annexes land along Ray Road, blocking Tempe's last avenue of expansion. Tempe becomes landlocked.
Tempe History Museum Image  1980 Tempe's population is 106,743.
Tempe History Museum Image  1980 Major floods close every bridge in the valley except the Mill Avenue Bridge and the Central Avenue Bridge in Phoenix.
Tempe History Museum Image  1988 The Phoenix Cardinals begin playing at Sun Devil Stadium and open a training facility in Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1988 The Kiwanis Recreation Center and Wave Pool open to the public.
Tempe History Museum Image  1989 The new Tempe Public Library building opens.
Tempe History Museum Image  1989 The Tempe City Council approves the Rio Salado Project.
Tempe History Museum Image  1989 The Tempe City Council approves the Rio Salado Project.
Tempe History Museum Image  1989-94 The Maricopa County Flood Control district channelizes the Salt River.
Tempe History Museum Image  1990 Tempe's population is 141,000.
Tempe History Museum Image  1990 Tempe voters approve an ordinance to provide funding for public art.
Tempe History Museum Image  1991 The Tempe Historical Museum reopens in the former Tempe Public Library.
Tempe History Museum Image  1993 The Tempe/Arizona Public Service Joint Fire Training Center is dedicated.
Tempe History Museum Image  1994 The Arizona Department of Transportation completes the Loop 202 freeway through north Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  1996 Super Bowl XXX is played in Sun Devil Stadium.
Tempe History Museum Image  1997 The Hayden Flour Mill closes after 123 years of operation. The Mill's last operator was Bay State Milling, which purchased the mill in 1981. Limited operations continued until March 1998.
Tempe History Museum Image  1997 The Tempe Fire Department becomes the first fire department in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
Tempe History Museum Image  1998 Construction of the Rio Salado Project begins.
Tempe History Museum Image  1999 The Tempe Town Lake is completed. Tempe Beach Park is rededicated.
Tempe History Museum Image  1999 The Tempe Fire Department opens a new Fire Station and Administration Offices on East Apache Boulevard. The new facility is named Fire Station #1.
Tempe History Museum Image  1999 The Human Relations Commission establishes the Diversity Award to recognize individuals, community groups and businesses who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in Tempe.
Tempe History Museum Image  2000 Tempe's population is 158,625.
Tempe History Museum Image  2002 The old Hayden Flour Mill burns for the third time in its history. The Fire Department saves the 1918 portion and the 1951 grain silos.
Tempe History Museum Image  2005 Tempe's population is 165,796.
Tempe History Museum Image  2006 The Arizona Cardinals (formerly the Phoenix Cardinals) move from Sun Devil Stadium to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
Tempe History Museum Image  2007 The Tempe Center for the Arts opens by Town Lake.
Tempe History Museum Image  2008 Corey Woods is the first African American to be elected to the Tempe City Council.
Tempe History Museum Image  2008 The light rail transit system begins operation in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa.
Tempe History Museum Image  2009 The East Valley Tribune, the latest version of the Tempe Daily News, ceases circulation in Tempe, marking the end of 122 years of continuous newspaper coverage.
Tempe History Museum Image  2009 President Barack Obama speaks at the Arizona State University commencement.