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Arkansas Information

States of the USA Article Index


Arkansas Quicklinks


Arkansas Info

  • Capital: Little Rock.
  • State abbreviation/Postal code: Ark./AR.
  • Organized as territory: March 2, 1819.
  • Entered Union: 15 June 1836 (25th state).
  • Present constitution adopted: 1874.
  • Motto: "The people rule."
  • Land area: 52,068 sq mi.
  • Geographic center: In Pulaski Co., 12 mi. SW of Little Rock.
  • Number of counties: 75.
  • Largest county by population and area: Pulaski, 366,752 ; Union, 1,039 sq mi.
  • State parks: 51.

State Symbols

  • Flower: Apple blossom (1901).
  • Tree: Pine (1939).
  • Bird: Mockingbird (1929).
  • Insect: Honeybee (1973).
  • Song: “Arkansas” (1963).

Famous natives of Arkansas:

  • Douglas MacArthur. Military hero, WWII and Korea.
  • Albert Pike. Pioneer teacher and lawyer.
  • Dick Powell. Actor.
  • Mary Steenburgen. Actress.
  • Billy Bob Thornton. Actor, ex-husband of Angelina Jolie.
  • Sam Walton. Founder of Wal-Mart.
  • John Gould Fletcher. Poet.
  • J. William Fulbright. United States Senator.
  • John Grisham. Author.
  • Tess Harper. Actress
  • E. Fay Jones. Architect.
  • Scott Joplin. Composer.
  • Alan Ladd. Actor.
  • William "Bill" Jefferson Clinton. Former governor of Arkansas, Former President of the United States.
  • Johnny Cash. Singer and songwriter.

Arkansas Corporations

The three most famous are Dillard's, Tyson Foods, and Wal-Mart. Others include:

  • ABF Freight System, Inc.
  • Acxiom.
  • Alliance Rubber Company.
  • AmTran.
  • Alltel.
  • Arkansas Best.
  • Arvest Bank.
  • Candy Bouquet.
  • J.B. Hunt.
  • Lion Foods.
  • Murphy Oil.
  • Mountain Valley Spring Water.
  • Riceland Foods.
  • Windstream Communications.

Some Arkansas history

Hernando de Soto (of Spain) was among the early European explorers to visit the territory in the mid-16th century. However, it was a Frenchman, Henri de Tonti, who in 1686 founded the first permanent white settlement. That settlement was the Arkansas Post.

In 1803, during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, the United States acquired the area (with some help from the Marquis De Lafayette) as part of the Louisiana Purchase. At the time, this purchase was controversial. It's obvious today, however, that we certainly got our money's worth.

Arkansas became part of the Territory of Missouri in 1812.In 1819, after the first large wave of settlers arrived, it became a separate entity. The next several decades were marked by the development of the cotton industry and the spread of the Southern plantation system west into Arkansas.

Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861. From 1863 until the end of the War Between the States, the northern part of the state was occupied by Union troops. During Reconstruction, the shenanigans inflicted upon Arkansas were especially devastating. And this effect lasted for about a century. Even in the 1960s, families were moving north to find work due to economic difficulties arising from political games that often were disadvantageous to Arkansas.

Today, fFood products are the state's largest employing sector. Most famously, chicken. Arkansas is also a leader in the production of cotton, rice, and soybeans. Lumber and wood products rank a close second to food, though. Arkansas also has the country's only active diamond mine. No, it's not in a strip mall. It's located near Murfreesboro, and is operated as a tourist attraction.

Hot Springs National Park and Buffalo National River in the Ozarks are major state attractions. Blanchard Springs Caverns, the Historic Arkansas Museum at Little Rock, the William J. Clinton Birthplace in Hope, and the Arkansas Folk Center in Mountain View are also of interest.


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