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Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona. It is located in the southeast part of the state on the bank of River Santa Cruz.
The first Europeans to visit the area were Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. In 1700, the Jesuit missionary explorer Father Eusebio Francisco Kino founded the mission of San Xavier del Bac close by the Papago Indian village of Stjukshon later called Tucson. Stjukshon is an Indian word which means “village of the dark spring at the foot of the mountain".
Tucson remained a military outpost under Spanish and later Mexican control until the area was sold to the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Tucson was the capital of the Arizona Territory from 1867 to 1877.The town grew rapidly when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1880. Silver and copper deposits were discovered nearby.
Tourism is important to the city's economy.Tucson is a popular vacation and health resort due to its sunny, mild, dry climate and unique desert location. Major industries include aerospace and missile production, high technology, optics, biotechnology, environmental technology, software, and electronics. Tucson is also the commercial center for the surrounding area's agricultural and mining industries. The city is the home of the University of Arizona.