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10 of the Most Interesting Facts About Arkansas History

If you’ve ever wondered about Arkansas history, there are some pretty interesting facts about how the state of Arkansas came to be.  From how the state got its nickname to how Little Rock became the capital, it all dates back to the early 1800’s.  Read on to find out 10 of the most interesting facts about Arkansas history.

  1. Before Arkansas was a state, it became a separate territory in 1819. Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase between the United States and France. In June of 1836, Arkansas became a state.
  2. The name Arkansas is derived from the word acansaw which means downstream place. The state was named by early French explorers, referring to the Quapaw people and the river which they settled.
  3. Little Rock is Arkansas’s state capital. Before Arkansas was a state, Arkansas was home to only 400 residents and around 60 buildings. The town quickly grew and soon had the Arkansas Gazette, schools, and churches.  There was also a road built between Little Rock and Memphis which also helped the city grow.  Little Rock became the capital in 1836.
  4. Arkansas is known as The Natural State but has not always been referred to as that. Other nicknames in the past have included the Wonder State, Rackensack, the Bear State and the Toothpick State. In the 1980’s the state was given the nickname by the Arkansas Parks System.  Tourists really liked it, so it stuck.
  5. The Arkansas state bird is the Mockingbird and has been since 1929. The Mockingbird is also the state bird of Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida.
  6. The honeybee is the Arkansas state insect. In 1973, Act 49 of the state General Assembly thought that the hardworking honeybee represented the people of Arkansas. The honeybee has great attention to detail and works hard on crop pollination.  Arkansas is actually a large producer of honey and in 2001, was ranked 8th among other honey producing states.
  7. Arkansas’s most important crop is rice. The state is the leading producer of rice and provides 46% of the country’s supply.
  8. The Apple Blossom is the Arkansas state flower. In years past, Arkansas was a large producer of apples. The state flower was established back in 1901.  The beautiful Apple Blossom has pink and white petals with green leaves.
  9. The Pine tree is Arkansas’s state tree. Arkansas is home to 4 species of the pine including the Shortleaf pine, Loblolly pine, Longleaf pine, and Slash pine. The state tree was established in 1939 by the General Assembly.
  10. The design of the Arkansas state flag was actually the result of a contest. Willie Kavanaugh Hocker designed the flag with its outer diamond, 25 white stars and 4 blue stars within the diamond. The 25 white stars represent Arkansas being the 25th state to join the Union.  The blue star at the top is to represent the Confederate States of America.  The 3 blue stars below represents The Louisiana Purchase, the fact that Arkansas was the 3rd state formed from The Louisiana Purchase, and the 3 nations which Arkansas used to belong to.  The flag was adopted in 1913.

We invite you to come and visit Arkansas and check out the beauty for yourself.  Here Arsenic and Old Lace we are set in the Ozark Mountains of Eureka Springs.  We have 5 guest suites each complete with private bathroom, seasonal fireplace, and whirlpool tub.  Each morning begins with a gourmet breakfast to start your day off on the right foot.  If you’ll be traveling to the area for the first time, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide before you arrive.  We look forward to seeing you soon.


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