Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement celebrating the City of Yuma’s centennial:
“Congratulations to the City of Yuma as it celebrates its centennial today. The city’s history is centered on the Yuma Crossing, a natural crossing point for those seeking to traverse the Colorado River, making it ripe for settlement first by the Quechan and Cocopah tribes and later by Spanish explorers. Yuma made its way into the nation’s conscience with the advent of steamboats, railroads, and the gold rush of 1849. It became a premier trading center of the ‘Wild West’ and home to the Yuma Territorial Prison, which housed some of the West’s notorious outlaws. Yuma’s reputation was solidified with 3:10 to Yuma, the harrowing Elmore Leonard story of the captured outlaw Ben Wade made famous in the classic 1957 film and remade for the enjoyment of a new generation in 2007.
“Today, Yuma is an agricultural center for the nation, supplying about 90 percent of the nation’s winter lettuce supply. The U.S. military, which first established a post in Yuma in 1854, continues to have a significant presence at the Yuma Proving Ground and the Yuma Marine Corp Air Station, in large part due the area’s unique weather, optimal for flying conditions an average of 360 days per year. At the same time, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area program has transformed the downtown riverfront area and restored wetlands habitat along the banks of the Colorado River. Building on its remarkable history, I am confident that Yuma will continue to thrive in the next 100 years as it has for the past century.”