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Feb 1, 2011 12:15 PM

Important document in Arizona's history on display tomorrow

TUCSON - The treaty that ended the Mexican-American War and ceded California, Nevada, Utah, and most of Arizona to the United States will be on display at the Arizona State Museum beginning tomorrow.

Original excerpts from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo can be seen at the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona from February 2 through 28, according to a release from the museum. The complete bilingual treaty, named for the town where it was signed in 1848, is housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

For $15 million, the treaty provided 525,000 square miles of Mexican territory to the United States. At the time, that represented about half of Mexico's territory. About 20 percent of Mexico's population at the time, 80,000 people, lived in the territory ceded by the treaty, which contained protected property rights for those who found themselves suddenly in America.

The southernmost portion of Arizona did not become an American territory until 1854, with the signing of the Gadsden purchase.

"This is an historical document, to be sure, but it also is a living document that continues to resonate among many people today, especially those of us living in the borderlands" says historian Michael Brescia, associate curator at Arizona State Museum.

The curator says even today, many Hispanic and Native American communities in Arizona and New Mexico cite this treaty to protect their land and water rights.

This exhibition was made possible by Amistades, a non-profit community development and substance abuse prevention organization serving Tucson and Pima County's Hispanic population.

"There is an emotional and social connection to culture," says Claudia Jasso-Stevens, community
development consultant for Amistades. "Access to history, education, and cultura helps Latino youth, particularly at-risk populations, build a healthy identity and sense of cultural pride."

The Arizona State Museum is located just east of UA's Main Gate at University Blvd. and Park Ave.

For more information on the exhibit and the museum, visit:
www.statemuseum.arizona.edu

Pictured: The cover of the original Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, courtesy The National Archives. Map depicts the cessation of territory to the United States from the treaty and the Gadsden Purchase, courtesy Wikipedia.

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