This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

What a Thunderbird is


When I hear the word "Thunderbird", I usually think of the car. Or, since I live in the Phoenix area, I may think of Thunderbird Road. And I really didn't give much thought to the ancient Indian symbol of a Thunderbird until I started collecting old photos of Phoenix.

A Thunderbird is traditionally drawn with very squared-off wings, in a geometric shape. If you want to see the shape of a Thunderbird, just fly over 59th Avenue and Greenway, and look down at the Thunderbird School of International Management, in Glendale. Actually, if you could arrange to see it right after it was built, as Thunderbird Field, just before World War II, it shows much clearer. They've added a lot of new buildings nowadays, but you can still kind'a see it. That's it at the top of this post in the 1940s. You are flying over it, looking northwest.


By the way, don't confuse a Thunderbird with a Phoenix Bird. A Phoenix Bird is an ancient Greek symbol, a Thunderbird is Indian. I like them both, and I'm always on the lookout for more!


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