Phoenix, known as the Valley of the Sun, is the sixth-largest city in the nation. It is the hub of the rapidly growing Southwest and the heart of a metro area of 2.45 million people. Phoenix is also the capital of Arizona and the Maricopa County seats. In 1867, Phoenix founder Jack Swilling formed a canal company and diverted irrigation water from the Salt River. In 1911, Roosevelt Dam was completed and water supplies were stabilized. Phoenix's explosive growth began during World War II when military airfields were built in Maricopa County for the near perfect flying weather.

The name Phoenix - legendary Egyptian symbol of rebirth - was chosen because the city was built on the ruins of the Hohokam civilization whose farmers dug irrigation canals still in use today. Climate has been a prime factor in the city's growth: the area experiences sunshine nearly every day of the year. Summer is hot and dry with temperatures often reaching 42C.


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