March 27: Today in Arizona history

2013-03-27T07:00:00Z March 27: Today in Arizona historyArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

1883: James Addison Reavis files a claim in the office of the Surveyor General in Tucson to the “Peralta Grant,” which runs 235 miles east and west and 75 miles north and south— some 12 million acres of the richest lands, towns and mines in Arizona. He will become known as the notorious “Baron of Arizona.”

1906: The Arizona Daily Star announces it will start furnishing daily weather forecasts transmitted by the Consolidated Telephone, Telegraph and Electric Co.

Also in 1906: It is announced that an increase in the price of beer to 10 cents a glass will take effect March 31, due to increased liquor license costs in Pima County.

1924: Oscar Monthan — Davis-Monthan Air Force Base namesake — dies in crash.

1979: Just days earlier — leaving England to begin his 1979 United States tour in Tucson — musician Eric Clapton joked he was getting married because, "I got tired of being turned down by birds in the pub."

At 2 p.m., Clapton appears at the Pima County Courts building to sign a certificate of marriage. His betrothed, Pattie Boyd — the former wife of Beatle guitarist George Harrison, had arrived two hours earlier to do the same. (By the way, Clapton wrote "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight" about Boyd.)

There was a hitch, however, when Clapton left the marriage license office without paying the required $8 fee. Superior Court Clerk Jim Corbett chased him out onto the building's steps, where Clapton tried to pay the fee in British pounds to no avail. Luckily, he scrapped enough American money together to settle the bill and the wedding was on.

Clapton, wearing a white silk brocade jacket and Tony Lama cowboy boots, and Boyd were married at 4 p.m. at Bethel Temple on West Elvira Road.

A concert with Muddy Waters the following evening at the Tucson Community Center is largely panned by local reviewers.

1979: The first heart transplant is performed in Tucson.

Want to share an important event from Tucson's history? Email it to krumore@azstarnet.com.

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