Saturday, October 3, 2015

Historically Challenged Historical Society

The Arizona Historical Society makes the following boast on its website at:

Established by an Act of the First Territorial Legislature on November 7, 1864, the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) is Arizona’s oldest historical agency. Architects of the Territory’s code of laws realized they were making history and that it was important to preserve a record of their activities. One of their earliest actions was to create the means for documenting the past and recording contemporary events as they unfolded. This became the Arizona Historical Society, formed to collect and preserve “all facts relating to the history of this Territory".
 It is very difficult to comprehend how any historical society could make such a major historical error. The following correction was distributed to 700 media contacts last week and is currently being printed in news papers across Arizona.

The Arizona Historical Society, now a state agency, proudly boasts that it was founded in 1864. Unfortunately, the claim is not true.  An organization called the Arizona Historical Society was established in1864 by the first territorial legislature in Prescott, but it faded into oblivion in the 1870s. The first AHS had no known connection to the present day AHS which was founded in Tucson in 1884 by Charles D. Poston. When established, it was named the Society of Arizona Pioneers, and it was primarily an elite social organization that excluded many people.  The name did not become the Arizona Historical Society until nearly a century later.
If the present day AHS cannot even properly interpret its own history, why are Arizona taxpayers giving it millions of dollars per year to preserve Arizona history?


  1. How interesting--AHS has to make themselves older than their organization actually is. But then, consider their motto, Let's Make History". They have, but unfortu nately some of it is hopelessly damaging and unprofessional. The Centennial boondoggle and its aftermath is a prime example. Despite legislation in their statutes to maintain the Mining and Mineral Museum, including the displays and excellent educational program, AHS violated them, closed the MMM--their only really successful museum, and displaced 40,000 students a year who benefited. And to make their history even worse, they had not raised the money for their fancy museum and the building is empty 4 years later. This kind of making history won't be in any history books. It truly belongs in Ripley's Believe It Or Not!!

  2. Right On!! One of the best examples is AHS actually trying to dismantle and destroy the incredible outdoor working historic mining display. They succeeded in destroying the historic Mining and Mineral Museum for our Centennial. they have made several attempts to get rid of this display to show kids and the public a unique
    look at mining history. So--AHS makes history by destroying it. Why does the state fund this agency???

  3. Such an epic error and misrepresentation of their own organizational history calls into question AHS' competence in fulfilling its mission "to collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate the history of Arizona. Perhaps, they need to change their motto to "Let's Fake History". It's time to defund this self-admitted fraudulent organization.

    1. The writer is referring to the peculiar AHS motto: "Let's make history".

  4. So let me get this straight....someone at the AHS "cooked the books'. Meaning they changed the date of the establishment of the Historical Society? With all of the research facilities and records at their disposal how could this happen.
    It must have been one person who did it. What would a State agency say about such a thing.

  5. So who made the decision on this? And when?

  6. So what does a State agency do when it's leadership fabricates it's own history? What does the Board do? And what is worrisome is what does it's own staff think?
    Don't worry what the public thinks as they don't even go inside the museums.
    What does the Governor think and the Legislature? When the leadership pulls a stunt like this there should be a punishment of some kind. Did they think that nobody would notice. Arrogance of the highest order. And all at taxpayers expense!