Our Arizona State Hospital (ASH) and the U of A share a birthday. Both were established by the 13th Territorial Legislature in 1885. The City of Tucson had wanted ASH (it came with a $100K appropriation) but their delegation got to Prescott (the Territorial Capitol) late because the Salt was flooded… and Tucson ended up getting the U of A instead (which only carried a $25K appropriation). ASH opened its doors in 1887 and the U of A held their first classes in 1891.
The UA football team played their first games in 1899 as the U of A “Varsity”… and the first Big Game between the Varsity and the Tempe “Normals” (ASU) was played on Thanksgiving in 1899 at Carillo Gardens field in Tucson in front of 300 fans. The U of A met the Normals at the Tucson train station and the teams had a post-game Thanksgiving feast. I don’t think they do that anymore— or we’d probably have to test the food in advance at our Lab. The local newspaper reported that this was U of A’s first game and that “… the Normal squad was physically larger and better conditioned”, with the Normals winning 11 to 2. The Territorial Cup is the trophy that’ll be awarded again to the winner of Friday’s Duel in the Desert (in Tucson this year)… it’s the oldest Trophy of its kind.