Tucson <<TOO son or too SON>> is a city in southern Arizona. It is the second largest city in the state. The largest city is Phoenix. Tucson is a popular vacation and retirement center because of its warm, dry, sunny climate. It is the seat of Pima County.

 Tucson lies in the Sonoran Desert, in an area surrounded by mountains. The city is near the Santa Cruz River. The river dries up during periods of little rainfall. Many of Tucson’s people work for the government or for the University of Arizona.

Two groups of American Indians—the Pima and the Tohono O’odham—lived in the Tucson area before Europeans arrived there. The Tohono O’odham are also known as the Papago. Tucson was established in 1776 as a Spanish military outpost.At that time, the Tucson area was part of the Spanish territory in America called New Spain. The area later became part of Mexico. In 1853, the United States bought the land from Mexico. From 1867 to 1877, Tucson was the capital of the Arizona Territory.

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