The state of Arkansas is located in the southern part of the United States. It shares state lines with Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Arkansas is the 29th largest state with an area of 53,179 square miles and the 32nd most populous of the 50 states in the United States. The Quapaw, Osage and Caddo people inhabited the area prior to European exploration and settlement. The Seven Years’ War resulted in changing hands of Arkansas between France and Spain and was later included in the Louisiana purchase when Napoleon sold it to the United States. It was the Arkansas Territory for many years until it became the 25th state in 1836. Arkansas left Union and joined the Confederate States of America in 1861, only to return to Union in 1868.
The first people to live on the land now called Arkansas arrived around 11,650 B.C.
The name Arkansas is derived from the name ‘acansa’ that was used by the Quapaw natives who lived in the area before settlement by Europeans began. It means ‘south wind’ or ‘downstream place’.
The first European to reach the area was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541.
Arkansas Post was the first permanent settlement in Arkansas, founded by Henri de Tonti, a Frenchman in the mid-1500s.
In 1682 the land was claimed for France as a part of the Louisiana Territory, a huge mass of land including most of the central United States.
Early industry in Arkansas was based on cotton.
In 1861 at the start of the Civil War, Arkansas was a Confederate state.
Arkansas’ state bird is the mockingbird.
Arkansas’ name came from the Quapaw Indians, whom the French called the “Arkansaw.”
Its state tree is the pine; its insect is the honeybee.
Arkansas is nicknamed the Natural State because of its beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, and wildlife.
Arkansas’ state flower is the apple blossom.
Arkansas is bordered by Missouri in the north, Tennessee and Mississippi in the east, Louisiana in the south, and Texas and Oklahoma in the west.
Arkansas’ song is ‘Arkansas’.
Its eastern border is almost completely formed by the Mississippi River.
The nickname for Arkansas is ‘The Natural State’.
The Arkansas River Valley is south of the Ozarks, and it includes the state’s largest river, the Arkansas.
Arkansas’ state motto is Regnat populus which means ‘The People Rule’.
The state’s highest point, Magazine Mountain, is here.
The capital of Arkansas is Little Rock.
The Ouachita Mountains are in western and central Arkansas, and are known for parallel ridges and valleys.
Arkansas has 75 counties and 51 state parks.
The smallest national park in the United States, Hot Springs, is also in this region. The natural springs here can reach 143℉.
The only active diamond mind in the country is located near Murfreesboro. Today it operates as a tourist destination called Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Amphibians such as cricket frogs and Ouachita dusky salamanders can be found in Arkansas.
Mountain View is a community known as the Folk Capital of America, where they have preserved the pioneer lifestyle.
Elk, badgers, and eastern spotted skunks are some of Arkansas’ mammals.
Stuttgart, Arkansas is home to the annual World Championship Duck Calling Contest.
The state’s birds include red-tailed hawks, ivory-billed woodpeckers, and indigo buntings.
Alma, Arkansas is considered to be the spinach capital of the world.
Western pygmy rattlesnakes and eastern collared lizards are among the reptiles that skitter through the state.
Arkansas’ official state beverage is milk.
The maple-leaf oak tree exists only in Arkansas.
Located in Arkansas, the Buffalo River is one of only a few remaining unpolluted rivers free-flowing in the U.S. lower 48 states.
Petroleum, natural gas, and coal are among Arkansas’ chief natural resources.
Arkansas’ industry today is dominated by paper and wood products, mining, agriculture and electronic equipment.
Arkansas also leads the country in bauxite, a material used to make aluminum.
The highest point in Arkansas is Magazine Mountain, at 2,753 feet above sea level.
Arkansas is the world’s biggest producer of bromine, which is used in pesticides, water purification, medications, and flame retardants.
The lowest point in Arkansas is Ouachita River, at only 55 feet above sea level.
Arkansas is also the only U.S. state that actively mines diamonds.
Ozark National Forest in Arkansas encompasses more than one million acres.
Famous Arkansans include President William Jefferson Clinton, General Douglas MacArthur, and former U.S. Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas. His full name is William Jefferson Clinton and he was born in 1946. He was the 42nd U.S. President, and he served two terms.
In 2008, Arkansas joined the unfortunate list of states that have suffered school shootings: four men were charged with capital murder and other felonies for the fatal shootings of two students and wounding of a third near a University of Central Arkansas dormitory.
Arkansas receives an average of only 5.2 inches of snow each year and 48.52 inches of rainfall.
Flash floods swept through Albert Pike Recreation Area, killing 19 in 2010. One year later, the Mississippi River flooded more than 1 million acres and 63 counties were declared disaster areas.
Johnny Cash, the late, iconic musician, was born in Kingsland, Arkansas.
Food products are the state’s largest employing sector, with lumber and wood products a close second.
Hot Springs National Park has 47 hot springs that flow from Hot Springs Mountain. These springs have been visited by Babe Ruth, Al Capone, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Arkansas is also a leader in the production of cotton, rice, and soybeans.
Arkansas’ state flag was designed during a 1913 contest, won by Miss Willie Kavanaugh Hocker.