Tucson is a real melting pot unlike any other in the country. Although Tucson — or “The Old Pueblo,” as the town is known — only incorporated in 1877, the region has an extensive history.
Paleo-Indians first visited what is today the Tucson area about 12,000 years ago. Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino visited Tucson, then part of New Spain, during the latter half of the 17th century and established the Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1692.
The United States gained Tucson and southern Arizona on June 8, 1854, as part of the Gadsden Purchase. Today, Tucson, the second-largest city in Arizona, is unmistakably western, though it has a unique culture that is a mix of Native, European, Mexican and Asian cultures.
The Spanish named the city, Tucsón, a derivative of the O’odham name Cuk Ṣon. That means “(at the) base of the black (hill),” a reference to a basalt-covered hill now known as Sentinel Peak, also known as “A” Mountain.