Is it illegal to drive in reverse in Glendale? To hunt a camel? To let a donkey sleep in your bathtub? If you check certain websites, they tell you these and other wacky laws are still on the books in Arizona and some of it's cities.
On May 7th and 8th I did reports on our GOOD EVENING ARIZONA newscast (between 6 and 6:30pm) about our state's fun facts, laws, legends and just plain lies. It was a blast, and I've gotten lots of calls from you folks wanting to join in on the fun. Here are a few tidbits of trivia that may be right on the money or miss the mark by a mile.
The gunfight at the O.K. Corral has long been a Hollywood favorite, starring such hotshots as Henry Fonda, Kurt Russel and that Dances With Wolves fella. In one movie, My Darling Clementine, Tombstone is in the middle of Monument Valley, cuz the director, I think it was John Ford, made other movies there and really liked the place. Also in most of those movies, the gunfight goes on for a very long time, when in reality, historians say it was around a thirty second shoot-em-up. I guess 30 seconds of cowboys shootin' at ya is long enough, but it would have made a boring movie. Some history buffs say the gunfight didn't even happen at the famous corral, but down the street.
Some other wild facts and/or fictions about our beloved state...it was once against the law to let a donkey sleep in your bathtub. I'm thinkin' this one was a put on, as was this....it's against the law to hunt a camel. The humped haulers were used to carry cargo across our deserts in the old days, which makes sense. And since some escaped, there probably was an opportunity to shoot one or two if ya really wanted to. So, maybe, just maybe it was true.
Did ya know Arizona once had a Navy? Two small boats roamed the Colorado River near Yuma, making sure Californians didn't sneak in.
So what's our state fossil? Yep, we have a state fossil. It's petrified wood. The palo verde is the state tree, turquoise the state gemstone, the cactus wren the state bird. If you have any questions about any of this stuff, you can get in touch with Marshall Trimble...he's the official state historian. You might find him hangin' around with his buddy, Dolan Ellis...who happens to be the official state musician. We got lots of official state stuff, don't we?
And imagine calling Sedona Schnebly Station instead. Early pioneer Theodore Schnebly was told he couldn't name it that because it had too many letters to fit in the postal mark. So he wisely named the red rock town after his wife. And most agree that Sedona is much more romantic that Schnebly Station.
So take a look on the net and check out all the fun facts about Arizona. It may come in handy the next time your on a big TV quiz show (do they still have those?).