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Arkansas (AR): State Guide and Fun Facts

When did Arkansas become a state?
June 15, 1836

Who were the first Europeans in Arkansas?
Hernando de Soto

First Native American settlers:
Caddo, Chickasaw, Osage, Quapaw, Tunica tribes

Square Miles:

US Rank:

State Flower:
Apple Blossom

State Bird:

State Motto:
“Regnat populus” The people rule

Capital City

Little Rock
Little Rock Arkansas was founded in 1821. The land had recently been surveyed, and within a few years, residents began to occupy the city. It was named the capital city of the territory of Arkansas in 1821, and the statehouse is built a little over a decade later. When Arkansas became a state in 1836, Little Rock remained the seat of government.

Today, the city has grown to a population of 191,930 (2009 census estimate). The economy is driven by a few major companies in the industries of banking, financial services, retail, communications and insurance.


What is Arkansas famous for?

1. Ozark Mountains
The Ozark Mountains are a beautiful mountain range located in southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas. Within the Ozarks lies the Saint Francois Mountain Range, which is the result of volcanic rocks formed during the Proterozoic period. The main source of economic revenue in the region is through tourism. The mountains are also home to a number of farms that grow crops and raise livestock for person use and in order to make a living. In addition to hiking and camping opportunities, the Ozark Mountains provide canoe and kayak opportunities as well as hunting and fishing outlets.

2. Hot Springs National Park
The Hot Springs National Park has been used for over 200 years by those wishing to treat illnesses and relieve muscle and joint problems. The springs are the reason that the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, was developed.
The park today is more of a spa than a natural area containing hot springs. The springs are now pumped into manmade pools, both private and public, throughout the grounds of the National Park. Visitors can schedule specific baths, or join in one of the communal pools to receive the same ailment-treating hot water that has been used for centuries.

3. Birthplace of Bill Clinton
President Bill Clinton was born in 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. Before becoming the 42nd President of the United States, Clinton attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. After graduation, he won a Rhodes Scholarship and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University College in Oxford. He left the program to attend Yale University for law school. Returning to Arkansas, Clinton became the state’s Attorney General from 1977 until 1979, after which he won the election to be the Governor of Arkansas. He was governor from 1979 until 1981, and then again from 1983 until 1992. He left office at the end of his second term to be sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States.

What is Arkansas’s economy?

1. Agriculture
The most important agricultural receipts in Arkansas are generated by young chickens and rice. Arkansas is the country’s largest producer of rice and second largest producer of young chickens. Other livestock that is raised both for meat or for the animals’ byproducts include cattle, calves, chicken eggs and fish. Other primary crops grown in Arkansas aside from rice include soybeans, cotton, corn and wheat.

2. Manufacturing
The main manufacturing industries in Arkansas are responsible for the production of food products. As the state is a leading grower of crops and livestock, it is consequently a large processor of these products. The main factories produce animal feed, baked goods, canned items, oils, meats, dairy products and sodas. The state also produces electrical items, metal products, machinery, rubber, automobile parts and lumber.

3. Services
The services industries in Arkansas are dominated by wholesale and retail trade. These include the sale of automobiles and farming equipment, and sales through discounters such as Wal-Mart (headquarters are located in Bentonville). Small businesses are also important, accounted for by health care offices, law firms and hotels. Public schools and hospitals, insurance companies and real estate agencies are additional significant contributors to the state’s GDP.


Arkansas Historical Landmarks

1. Louisiana Purchase State Park
The Louisiana Purchase State Park is the located of the starting point for surveyors who were given the task of mapping the enormous new lands to the west of the Mississippi River that were gained through the Louisiana Purchase. Surveying needed to begin somewhere, and it was this spot that was chosen. The surveying began here around the beginning of the 19th century, but it was not until 1926 that a market was dedicated to memorialize the beginning of the historic occupation of what became the rest of the United States.
The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972.

2. Little Rock Central High School
Little Rock Central High School was one of the schools across the United States that experienced problems regarding race and segregation during the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1957, there were nine African American students that were denied entrance to the school, after President Eisenhower and the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of forced desegregation. The school was forced by the government to allow the students in, however on their first day of school, there were thousands of white people outside protesting the arrival of the students. The students were thereafter escorted to school by the US Army 101st Airborne Division. Members of the National Guard were needed to patrol the school for the rest of the school year.
Little Rock Central High School was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 6, 1998 and it was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 20, 1982.

3. Old State House
The Old State House, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, is no longer the location of the Arkansas state house, as a new building was constructed in 1912. The Old State House was constructed in 1836, in the Greek Revival style, characteristic of many state houses and capitol buildings around the country. After the new state house was built, the old building served as offices for governmental agencies and organizations. In 1947, the Old State House became a museum relating to the history of Arkansas. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark on December 9, 1997.

Additional Resources

Zoos in Arkansas

Chamber of Commerce in Arkansas

Counties in Arkansas

Towns and Cities in Arkansas

Arkansas Airports