A banner with the words "Grand Canyon State" divides the two pieces, which represent two unique Arizona sceneries. The state of Arizona sponsored a public poll to solicit feedback from locals on the five final design finalists. The Arizona State Quarter was selected as the winner. It will begin circulating in late 2002.
The Arizona State Quarter is one of the most beautiful coins ever issued by the United States. It features images of the Grand Canyon and other parts of the state at work for their livelihood: farming and mining.
The coin's obverse (or heads) side features an image of the right-handed goddess Liberty by American artist William Kneass. On her chest is an olive branch and behind her is a torch held high above a map of America. Underneath are the words "Liberty" and "In God We Trust".
The reverse (or tails) side of the coin features images of horses, cattle, miners, and farmers working in their fields or shops. Along the bottom are the words "Arizona - Land Of Sky Water And Gold". Above are two rows of five stars with space between them. They continue around the coin's edge. In the middle is the date: 2002. The 5 cents piece has no mint mark.
The State of Copper Arizona's Grand Canyon State/Nicknames include the Grand Canyon State, Grand Terrace, and Grand Oldie.
Arizona was founded in 1866 by an act of Congress that set aside large tracts of land for settlement by Americans who were being forced out of their homes in Texas, New Mexico, and California. The land was offered for sale to anyone willing to pay $10 per acre. By 1893, when statehood was granted, there were already many large cities and towns with a population of over 10,000 people: Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, San Diego, Los Angeles. Today, there are more than one million people living in Arizona. It is the most populous state in the United States except for Illinois.
In the early years, there were many challenges facing settlers in what was then known as Arizona Territory. There were frequent battles with the Apache tribe until they were finally defeated in 1886. The most serious problem, though, was lack of water. In those days before air conditioning, there was no way to keep vegetables fresh during long summers, so pioneers developed ways to use the little water that was available.
The term "Grand Canyon State" for Arizona refers to the magnificent Grand Canyon in the state's northern half, which is one of the world's natural marvels. The term "Copper State" also honors the state's incredible mineral richness. Both terms were coined by early pioneers who saw immense beauty and potential for growth in the Western territory.
After the American Civil War, veterans returned home to find much of the country still torn up from the war. In an effort to promote development in these areas, people began using the names "Grand Army State" or "Grand Ohio" to describe their respective states. By the late 1800's, these names were being used widely enough that the government had to make an official declaration of what they meant. In 1951, President Truman officially named Arizona "The Grand Canyon State." The other states included in this designation are Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
People tend to think of Nevada as the grandest state name because of its capital city, Las Vegas. But before it was called Las Vegas, it was known as Nevada City. And before that, it was just a bunch of desert islands. California was not even part of the United States when it received its original name from the Spanish.