When tough Tucsonans didn’t complain about the heat

2013-06-28T12:55:00Z 2013-06-28T20:01:26Z When tough Tucsonans didn’t complain about the heatBobbie Jo Buel, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

We readily admit to whining incessantly about Tucson’s heat, but there was a time when editors barely took notice.

On June 23, 1902 — the middle of three straight days of 110-degree heat, the Tucson Citizen published a story headlined “Hot weather philosophy. Some valuable suggestions.”

The newspaper quoted an anonymous “good-natured fat man” as saying, “The fact is, that the mind has a whole lot to do with this thing of getting too warm. We think we are scorching, and the result is, we scorch. I always think about cool things in the summer and warm things in the winter. I am now reading books that have a cooling influence, books that deal with snow banks and great heaps and hills of ice, and temperature below zero at that, and the result is you never hear me saying anything about the heat.”

In the same edition, the Citizen noted that Tucson’s 10,000 residents were using 1.5 million gallons of water a day — an enormous amount “these warm days.” Warm, indeed, and in an era before swamp coolers and air conditioning.

By July 1907, when there were two straight scorchers, the July 3 Citizen made only brief mention of the weather: “The mercurcy lingered lovingly around the 110-degree mark today. With lowering clouds to make the air oppressive, the degree of discomfort today is probably the season’s top record.”

Over at the Arizona Daily Star, editors had their own positive spin on a 110-degree day. The May 31, 1910 edition reported, “It is pointed out that Tucson was more comfortable than almost any other city in the southern portion of America, and more so than even many of the cities in the northern portion of the country. This is due to the absence of humidity in the atmosphere here. As one layman very aptly expressed it yesterday: ‘Despite the fact that it was the hottest day we have had in many years, there wasn’t a single collar wilted.’ ”

We now return you to June 2013, and we invite you to join us in complaining about the heat.

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