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The history of Phoenix as a city begins with Jack Swilling, an American Civil War veteran who had come west to seek wealth in the 1850s and worked primarily in Wickenburg. On an outing in 1867, he stopped to rest at the foot of the White Tank Mountains. Swilling observed the abandoned river valley and considered its potential for farming, much like that already cultivated by the military further east near Fort McDowell. The terrain and climate were optimal; only a regular source of water was necessary. The existence of the old Hohokam ruins, showing clear paths for canals, made Swilling imagine new possibilities.

Swilling had a series of canals built which followed those of the ancient Native American system. A small community formed that same year about 4 miles (6 km) east of the present city. It was first called Pumpkinville due to the large pumpkins that flourished in fields along the canals, then Swilling's Mill in his honor, though later renamed to Helling Mill, Mill City, and finally, East Phoenix. Swilling, a former Confederate soldier, wanted to name the city "Stonewall," after General Stonewall Jackson. Others suggested the name of "Salina." However, neither name was supported by the community.Finally, Lord Darrell Duppa suggested the name "Phoenix," as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.

One Million Meal Donation

Students that attend Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona know the turmoil that the local economy has suffered. With the decrease in jobs and pay; the local residents have also have tried to implement helping those who are going hungry. Katie Couric has set in place a program named “Katie Challenge for Change”. Students rallied together to acquired enough canned food to meet their goal of one million meals. They are donating it to the St. Mary’s Food Bank.

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