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Arkansas Quick Facts
- Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15th of 1836 as the 25th U.S. state.
- The state abbreviation is AR.
- The capital and largest city in Arkansas is Little Rock.
- With a total area of 53,179 square miles (137,733 square kilometers) this state ranks 29th in size among all 50 U.S. states.
- With a total population of 2,966,369 (2014 U.S. Census Bureau estimate) Arkansas ranks as the 32nd most populous U.S. state.
- The official state nickname is "The Natural State".
- The state motto is "Regnat Populus", which in Latin means "the people rule".
Interesting Arkansas Facts
- Arkansas gets its name from the Native American Quapaw tribe word "akakaze" which means "land of downriver people".
- Famous people from this state include former President Bill Clinton, singer Johnny Cash, and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark.
- There are many rivers within Arkansas including the Buffalo National River, Arkansas River, White River, Mulberry River, Saline River, and Little Missouri River.
- Lakes within Arkansas include Bull Shoals Lake, Greers Ferry Lake, Lake Ouachita, Beaver Lake, Millwood Lake, Norfork Lake, Lake Conway, and DeGray Lake.
- Located in northern Arkansas is one of the state's main tourist attractions, an amazing network of caves called Blanchard Springs Caverns.
- The highest point in this southeast state is Mount Magazine (also known as Magazine Mountain). Located in the Ozark National Forest it is 2,700 feet (823 meters) high.
Arkansas Historical Facts
- Native American Indians have lived on the land that is now Arkansas for thousands of years. When the first European explorers arrived in Arkansas in the 1500s the tribes living there included the Caddo, Osage, and Quapaw.
- In 1541 the famous Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto explored what is now central Arkansas.
- French explorers entered the region in the 1600s and in 1686 established the first European settlement, Arkansas Post on the banks of the lower Arkansas River. From this post the French traded with the Quapaw Indian tribe. In 1819 it became the first capital of the Arkansas Territory.
- The 1700s saw increased settlement of the area that is now Arkansas by traders and fur trappers.
- The land that is now Arkansas was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase where America purchased a huge portion of the current day western United States from France.
- On April 17, 1783 the only battle of the American Revolutionary War fought in what is today the state of Arkansas took place. The Battle of Arkansas Post (also called the Colbert Raid or Colbert Incident) was fought between the British and Spanish; Spain had just entered the war on the side of America. The Spanish won the battle.
- The Territory of Arkansas was organized in July of 1819 with the territorial capital being Arkansas Post. The capital was moved to Little Rock in 1821.
- In the 1830s the U.S. government forced Native American tribes to relocate out of the Arkansas Territory to land west of the Mississippi River.
- In 1836 Arkansas officially became a U.S. state and joined the Union as a slave state (allowed slavery).
- Arkansas joined the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.
- Several American Civil War battles took place in Arkansas including the Battle of Cane Hill, the Battle of Prairie Grove, and the Battle of Pea Ridge.
- The U.S. Supreme Court, in their 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, had deemed the racial segregation of public schools unconstitutional. In 1957 Arkansas drew national attention as the Governor Orval Faubus attempted to prevent nine African-American students from enrolling in an all-white high school in Little Rock. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent armed troops to Little Rock who escorted and protected the nine students as they went to school on September 25th of 1957.