The city of Mesa was first registered in 1878 as a one square mile town site. In 1917 the city purchased the local utility firm, which provided all needed revenue for the city until the 1960s. A particular era of growth was the WWII period, when many military personnel moved into the area of Falcon Field and Williams Field. Today it has become the third largest city in the state with a 2010 population of almost 440,000. It is located about 20 miles east of Phoenix. It measures over 18 miles from east to west.
Mesa is home to a number of higher education facilities, including the ASI Polytechnic campus. Two baseball fields for the Cactus League, Hohokam Park and Sloan Park bring fans into the area. Mesa is also home to the Mesa Arts Center and the Mesa Amphitheatre, where a variety of entertainment can be seen. A large LDS temple, Mesa Arizona Temple holds a large Easter Pageant each year. Also, the city has several notable museums, including the Arizona Museum of Youth, The Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Aircraft Museum, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, the Mesa Historical Museum, and the Arizona Museum of Natural History are also located within the city.