Saturday, October 31, 2015

Distorted history

As show by the October 3, 2015 post,  the AHS is not  presenting its own history accurately. On their website (, clicking on "about us" and "history of AHS" brings up the following statement.

Established by an Act of the First Territorial Legislature on November 7, 1864, the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) is Arizona’s oldest historical agency.
That claim is absolutely not true. Since the false claim was exposed in Arizona newspapers over a month ago, this curious situation raises a number of questions.

1. Has the AHS become so completely dysfunctional that it cannot correct errors?

2. Is the AHS so historically illiterate that it cannot research its own history?

 3, Is the AHS so historically inept that it cannot discern the difference between two completely unrelated organizations that just happened to have the same name?

4. Is the AHS deliberately misrepresenting its history in a pitiful attempt to enhance its image?

5. Is the AHS so arrogant that it actually believes its own fantasies rather than recorded history?

Since the AHS consumes five to ten million dollars in state funds (direct budget plus hidden costs) each year, these are serious questions for Arizona taxpayers.


  1. Everyone should be questioning why AZ taxpayers are forking over millions of dollars each year to AHS, an organization that: 1) Is still trying to clean up serious audit exceptions that have been going on for years, 2) Has multiple museums but seriously deficient attendance, 3) Remains in non-compliance with their own statutes which required them to maintain the Mining and Mineral Museum--they closed this historical science museum and have never explained why, for our Centennial no less, and 4) Have never had a good Sunset Review.

  2. C.L. Sonnichsen who was the editor of the Journal of Arizona History and the AHS Publications Dept. wrote a Centennial history of the AHS in 1984. I think the readers of this blog-site should refer their questions to the AHS own source! The AHS was founded in 1884. Not this 1864 nonsense that Ann Woosley dreamed up.
    This blog is telling the truth. Maybe all of the AHS Board members should have read that book before they came on the board. Would that be so hard? What a ship of fools.

    1. The Prescott Historical Society has published material on the first AHS, showing that it was a completely different organization than the current AHS. There is absolutely no connection between the two.

      Even Wikipedia has the history of the current AHS correct. How could a historical society get its own history wrong when the correct story is common knowledge?

  3. If AHS can't even get their own history straight, why should anyone think they are suddenly able to handle science. Oh, that's right--they destroyed a historic science museum even though their statutes said they would keep it operating. Somebody buy them the book !!

    1. Maybe the authors name and the subject matter do not provide enough information to allow the completely dysfunctional AHS to find the reference. Perhaps this would help:

      C.L. Sonnichsen, Pioneer Heritage, The First Century of the Arizona Historic Society, 1984, IBSN 0-910037-21-3

      Oh look --- it has an AHS copyright---- imagine that.

    2. The ONLY person who can make the decision to fabricate history is Ann Woosley. Hopefully one of the AHS Board members will read this blog before the AHS Annual Meeting this week and do something about it.

  4. Let's look at this from another view. Dr. Ann Woosley---author of an "Arcadia" Press picture book that short photo captions. Her library staff pulled most of the photos rather than her. That would mean her leaving her office!
    Dr. C.L. Sonnichsen author of many classic and respected Western and Arizona history books most which are still in print. And he was editor of the Journal of Arizona History.
    Woosley's record of her directorship is one of a dismal failure. Centennial Museum in Phoenix that never had any kind of a chance for completion and it's many off-springs of "5-C's" Museum, Arizona Experience Museum and an attempt to pawn it off on the 48 Women's Group. Now an abandoned building. And a former curator who works in an insurance call center.
    No fund raising capability for Ann Woosley. And should I mention the Rio Nuevo Boondoggle of a wasted $1,400,000 for exhibit and museum plans --all for nothing.
    So who do you believe. A highly respected Dr. Sonnichsen who says the AHS was formed in 1884 in the AHS's own published history or Dr. Ann Woosley and her dreamland fairy tale of a 1864 date.
    I know who I would believe.
    It's just a few days to the AHS Annual Meeting. I would hope the Board of Directors grow a spine and get the AHS out of this nightmare.
    My bet is with Dr. Sonnichsen. What is your bet Board of Directors.