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Arkansas, US (Population: 2,810,872)
State Capitol: Little Rock

Major Cities: Fort Smith, North Little Rock, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Springdale, Conway, Rogers, Hot Springs

State Nickname/Motto: The Natural State / Regnat populus: The people rule

Statehood Granted: June 15, 1836

History:The first European to reach Arkansas was the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto at the end of the 16th century. Arkansas is one of several U.S. states formed from the territory purchased from Napoleon Bonaparte in the Louisiana Purchase. The early Spanish or French explorers of the state gave it its name, which is probably a phonetic spelling for the Illinois word for the Quapaw people, who lived downriver from them. Other Native American nations that lived in Arkansas prior to westward movement were the Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage nations. While moving westward, the Five Civilized Tribes inhabited Arkansas during its territorial period.

Geography: Highest point: Magazine Mountain, 2,753 feet. Arkansas is a land of mountains and valleys, thick forests and fertile plains. Northwest Arkansas is part of the Ozark Plateau including the Boston Mountains, to the south are the Ouachita Mountains and these regions are divided by the Arkansas River; the southern and eastern parts of Arkansas are called the Lowlands and are better known as the Delta and the Grand Prairie. The land along the Mississippi River is referred to as the "Delta" of Arkansas. The Grand Prairie is slightly away from the Mississippi River in the southeast portion of the state and consists of a more undulating landscape. Both are fertile agricultural areas and home to much of the crop agriculture in the state.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.6%), White (79.0%), Black or African American 15.3%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.7%), Asian (0.9%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.2%), Some other race 2.4%), Two or more races (1.4%), Hispanic or Latino (4.7%)*

Famous State People:
* Hattie Caraway (1878 - 1950) The first woman elected to the United States Senate; lived in Jonesboro.
* William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton (1946- ) 42nd President of the United States; born in Hope.
* General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) Famous soldier and statesman; born in Little Rock.
* Eldridge Cleaver ( 1935 -1998) Black activist; born in Wabaseka.
* Scott Joplin (1867 - 1917) Musician, composer; lived in Texarkana.
* Sam Walton (1918 - 1992) Founder of Wal-Mart; lived in Bentonville.
* Jay Hanna (Dizzy) Dean (1910 - 1974) Baseball player; born in Lucas.
* Scottie Pippen (1965 - ) NBA player, played for the University of Central Arkansas; born in Hamburg.
* Maya Angelou (1928 - ) Poet and author of many books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
* Johnny Cash (1932 - ) Award-winning country and western singer known as “the man in black.”; born in Kingsland.
* Mary Steenburgen (1953 - ) Actress; born in Newport.
* Sarasen (1735 - 1832) The last Quapaw chief in Arkansas; he is buried in Pine Bluff.
* John Grisham (1955 - ) Author famous for works such as The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker and The Chamber; born in Jonesboro.

Major Colleges/Universities: Arkansas Baptist College, Arkansas State University - Heber Springs, Arkansas State University - Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas State University - Searcy, Arkansas State University - Jonesboro, Arkansas State University - Mountain Home, Arkansas State University - Newport, Arkansas State University - Paragould, Arkansas State University Technical Center, Arkansas Tech University, Central Baptist College, Harding University, Henderson State University, Hendrix College, John Brown University, Lyon College, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Ouachita Baptist University, Philander Smith College, Southern Arkansas University, South Arkansas Community College

National Parks: Arkansas Post National Memorial at Gillett, Buffalo National River, Fort Smith ,National Historic Site, Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock Central High School National, Historic Site, Pea Ridge National Military Park

Misc: After the case Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1957, the Little Rock Nine incident again brought Arkansas to national attention when the Federal government was forced to again interfere in the Arkansan capital. Orval Faubus, governor at the time, sent the Arkansas National Guard to aid segregationists in preventing nine African-American students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School. President Eisenhower sent troops to escort the African-American students on September 25, 1957. This incident eventually led to the closing of Little Rock high schools for the rest of the school year. The Little Rock high schools were completely integrated by the fall of 1959.

*U.S. Census - 2005