Saguaro at Sunset from Saguaro National Park Rincon District - Wikimedia Commons
Tucson, Arizona - is 118 mi (190 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the United States - Mexico border and home to the
University of Arizona
. Much of Tucson's economic development has been centered on the development of the University of Arizona, which is currently the second largest employer in the city.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
, located on the southeastern edge of the city, also provides many jobs for Tucson residents. Its presence, as well as the presence of the US Army Intelligence Center (
, the largest employer in the region in nearby Sierra Vista), has led to the development of a significant number of high-tech industries, including government contractors, in the area. Roughly 150 Tucson companies are involved in the design and manufacture of optics and optoelectronics systems, earning Tucson the nickname Optics Valley.
Tucson is commonly known as "The Old Pueblo." While the exact origin of this nickname is uncertain, it is commonly traced back to Mayor R. N. "Bob" Leatherwood. When rail service was established to the city on March 20, 1880, Leatherwood celebrated the fact by sending telegrams to various leaders, including the President of the United States and the Pope, announcing that the "ancient and honorable pueblo" of Tucson was now connected by rail to the outside world. The term became popular with newspaper writers who often abbreviated it as "A. and H. Pueblo". This in turn transformed into the current form of "The Old Pueblo."
The number of accomplished and awarded writers (poets, novelists, dramatists, nonfiction writers) in Tucson include David Foster Wallace and Barbara Kingsolver. Some are associated with the University of Arizona, but many are independent writers who have chosen to make Tucson their home. The city is particularly active in publishing and presenting contemporary innovative poetry in various ways. Examples are the Chax Press, a publisher of poetry books in trade and book arts editions, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center, which has a sizable poetry library and presents readings, conferences, and workshops. Whether golfing at a world-class golf resort, horse riding, hiking in the wilderness, discovering desert flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, or exploring pre-Columbian and other art at the
Tucson Art Museum
, you'll have a mind-boggling array of things to do.