30 Pieces of Phoenix Trivia You May Not Know

1. Let's get this one out of the way early: The hottest temperature ever recorded in Phoenix was 122 degrees on June 26, 1990.

2. The opening scene to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was filmed downtown.

3. Only about 40 percent of the people who live in Phoenix were born in Arizona.

4. Every U.S. president between Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush has spent a night at the Arizona Biltmore. The Reagans even spent part of their honeymoon there.

5. In 2006, while the Phoenix Convention Center was under construction, archaeologists found that the old Phoenix Civic Plaza had been built over 3,000-year-old houses

6. Other proposed names for the city, which was named in 1868, included "Stonewall" and "Salina."

7. South Mountain Park is the largest municipally owned park in the country, at more than 16,000 acres.

8. There once was an underground bowling alley on Central Avenue.

9. By land area, Phoenix is larger than New York and Los Angeles.

10. One of the most notorious female murderers of all time, Winnie Ruth Judd, did her deeds here.

11. Phoenix is the most-populated state capital in the United States and is the only state capital with more than 1 million residents.

12. The FBI's Phoenix office spent the '50s and '60s chasing Mafia members around the state.

13. Phoenix's Baseline Killer murdered more people (nine) than Phoenix's Serial Shooter (eight).

14. Formula 1 races were held on a street circuit in Phoenix from 1989-1991, though the race reportedly was canceled because of poor turnout. F1 wouldn't return to the U.S. for nearly a decade.

15. Central Avenue used to be called Central Street.

 

16. L. Ron Hubbard lived in Phoenix when he wrote his first books about Scientology.

17. The NBC drama Medium was set in Phoenix, but the show was not filmed here.

18. The body of Arizona's first governor is inside a pyramid on a hill in Papago Park.

19. Frank Lloyd Wright is credited with the design of 12 buildings in the Phoenix area, six of which are in Phoenix proper. (And one of them burned down.)

20. Research has shown that Phoenix has the lightest traffic of any big city in America.

21. Year after year, Chase Field has the cheapest beer in Major League Baseball ("Cheap" being a relative term.)

22. In the late 1800s, Phoenix had an extensive rail system throughout the city that even extended to Glendale. The cars were pulled by horses.

23. Bethany Home Road is named after a tuberculosis sanitarium that was called the Bethany Home.

24. The Wrigley Mansion, built by William Wrigley Jr., was the smallest of the couple's five homes, at 17,000 square feet.

25. The "Miranda warning" that cops read to a suspect after arrest is the result of the Phoenix Police Department's arrest of Ernesto Miranda in 1963.

26. Some famous people you may not have known were born here: Lynda Carter of Wonder Woman fame, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

27. Phoenix used to have a place called the Madison Square Garden that hosted boxing and wrestling matches and, later, musical acts. It didn't do as well as the New York venue of the same name.

28. Another heat fact: The record for most consecutive days with a temperature of more than 100 degrees in Phoenix is 76, which happened in 1993.

29. Phoenix has gotten an inch of snow — twice, both in the 1930s.

30. Two of the 10 people on the FBI's current "Most Wanted" list, Robert William Fisher and Jason Derek Brown, are from the Phoenix area.

(This story originally was posted September 31.)


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