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Our Arkansas

Part of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, Arkansas became a separate territory in 1819 and achieved statehood in 1836. A slave state, Arkansas became the ninth state to secede from the union and join the Confederate States of America.

Today, Arkansas ranks 27th among the 50 states in area, but, except for Louisiana and Hawaii, it is the smallest state west of the Mississippi River.

Our neighboring states are Missouri to the north, Tennessee and Mississippi to the east, Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest and Oklahoma to the west.

The name Arkansas was used by the early French explorers to refer to the Quapaw people—a prominent indigenous group in the area—and to the river along which they settled.

Quapaw Tribe

The term was likely a corruption of akansea, the word applied to the Quapaw by another local indigenous community, the Illinois.

Little Rock, the state capital, is located in the central part of Arkansas and in 1957, Little Rock Central High School became the focus of national attention when federal troops were deployed to the campus to enforce integration.


Arkansas Facts

1. Elevations in the state range from 54 feet above sea level in the far southeast corner to 2,753 feet above at Mount Magazine, the state's highest point.

2. North Little Rock offers one of the nation's largest municipal parks.

3. The community of Mountain View is called the Folk Capital of America. The little town preserves the pioneer way of life and puts it on display for visitors at the Ozark Folk Center State Park from March through October.

4. The road to the White House for President Bill Clinton began in Hope, then led to Hot Springs, Fayetteville, and Little Rock.

5. Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.

6. The state contains six national park sites, two-and-a half million acres of national forests, seven national scenic byways, three state scenic byways, and 50 state parks.

7. One of America's finest restoration projects, the Quapaw Quarter features some of Little Rock's oldest structures including Victorian and antebellum homes, churches, MacArthur Park, and the Old Arsenal.

8. Mountain View is home to one of the largest producers of handmade dulcimers in the world.

9. Since the 1830s the area now known as Hot Springs National Park has bathed notables as diverse as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Al Capone. The park is entirely surrounded by the city of Hot Springs, the boyhood home of President Bill Clinton.

10. Located just outside of Murfreesboro, Crater of Diamonds State Park allows dedicated prospectors to search for precious gems including diamonds, amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz.

11. The mockingbird is the official state bird. It was designated in 1929.

12. Clark Bluff overlooking the St. Francis River contains chalk to supply the nation for years.

13. Famous singer Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland.

14. The apple blossom is the official state flower. It was designated in 1901.

15. The Magnet Cove region claims to contain 102 varieties of minerals.

16. The World's Championship Duck Calling Contest is held annually in Stuttgart.

17. Sam Walton founded his Wal-Mart stores in Bentonville.

18. Mount Ida is known as the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World.

19. Arkansas became the 25th state on June 15, 1836.

20. The pine tree is the official state tree. It was designated in 1939.

21. Pine Bluff is known as the world center of archery bow production.

22. Camden was the site of the Fort Lookout Skirmish and the Battle of Poison Springs

23. Bauxite is the official state mineral. It was designated in 1967.

24. Alma claims to be the Spinach Capital of the World.

25. Little River County Courthouse is world famous for it's Christmas lights display.

26. General Douglas MacArthur, soldier and statesman, was born in Little Rock in 1880.

27. Established near the mouth of the Arkansas River in 1686, Arkansas Post was the first permanent white settlement in the state.

28. The geographic center of the state is located in Pulaski, 12 miles northwest of Little Rock.

29. The city of Fairfield Bay sits on the north shore of Greers Ferry Lake, a 40,000 acre mountain lake of sparkling waters in central Arkansas.

30. The University of Central Arkansas was founded in Conway in 1907.

31. The average temperature in July is 81.4 degrees; January it is 39.5; and the annual average is 61.7 degrees. The average rainfall is 48.52 inches and the average snowfall is 5.2 inches.

32. Scott Joplin, popular musician and composer, was born in Texarkana.

33. The diamond is the official state gem. It was designated in 1967.

34. Arkansas is officially known as The Natural State.

35. The Arkansas River is the longest stream to flow into the Mississippi-Missouri river system. Its total length is 1,450 miles.

36. The South Arkansas vine ripe pink tomato is the official state fruit and blossom. It was designated in 1987.

37. Milk is the official state beverage. It was designated in 1985.

38. The largest freestanding rock formation located in Eureka Springs has a base circumference of about 10 inches and the top measures almost 10 feet across. (

39. The apple blossom is the official state flower. It was designated in 1901.

40. Ouachita National Forest reigns as the oldest national forest in the South.

41. The lowest point in the state occurs along the Ouachita River.

42. Origin of state's name: French interpretation of a Sioux word acansa, meaning downstream place.

43. A person from Arkansas is called an Arkansan.

44. The honeybee is the official state insect. It was officially designated in 1973.

45. In 1783 the Colbert Incident occurred at Arkansas Post. It was the only Revolutionary War skirmish in the state.

46. The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states.

47. The fiddle is the official state instrument. It was designated in 1985.

48. 47 hot springs flow from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain, at an average temperature of 143 F.

49. The Ozark National Forest covers more than one million acres.

50. The quartz crystal is the official state rock. It was designated in 1967.


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