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?