On April 2, 2012, the U.S. National Archives will electronically release the 1940 census! To celebrate this exciting release, the National Archives at Riverside will be exploring the 1940’s through photos from our holdings.
Between now and April 2, we will post 40 images that show our region in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The National Archives at Riverside holds federal records for Southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, NV—we certainly hope to find and post a variety of interesting and thought provoking images from this decade!
We all know it’s true: Oftentimes it’s just hard to figure out government paperwork. Where do I get the form? Am I filling it out correctly? Where do I send it? How do I follow up? The questions are endless! Apparently this is not new!
Some unfortunate people just wanted to apply for naturalization, but happened to do so in a court that would soon cease to exist, and in a territory that would soon become a state. What happens to their paperwork?! Is it lost in the abyss?
This unsigned letter, dated less than a month after Arizona’s statehood, deals with this issue. We found it in the files of the clerk of the U.S. District Court for Tucson. We can assure you (cause we went and checked in the minutes of the court) these cases were not lost. Good thinking on behalf of the clerk, and good recordkeeping all the way around!
On February 14, 1912, Arizona officially became a state. Arizona had already been functioning as a recognized U.S. territory, but statehood made things official! So many things had to change, a state government had to be constructed, and lots of thought had to go into every little detail.
One of the best places to glimpse into these little details in the minute books of court clerks. Here at NARA-Riverside, we hold the minute books of the U.S. District courts for Arizona. In the first volume of minutes for the newly created state’s District Court in Phoenix, one of the little things that had to happen was the seal of the court. The description of the new seal is clear:
Though these seals are very important and we usually see them looking quite official, we found a first draft:
The little seal doesn’t look so bad on the whole page, though!
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Arizona’s statehood!
Here at NARA-Riverside, we decided to commemorate this day by trying to find some records that refer back to the transition from a U.S. territory to a state; after all, we do maintain all of the permanent federal records for all of Arizona!
One of the first records we found that tells us about the statehood was on the last page of a very large, very old bound volume of minutes of the First District of the Arizona Territorial Court. Upon statehood, the Territorial Court was no longer the correct avenue for proceedings—now Arizona needed District Courts. The Pima Bar Association asked that an entry be included at the end of the volume—it’s celebratory and transitional, but also a little bittersweet.