Arkansas Facts
Arkansas Facts

29 Interesting Arkansas Facts

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published May 5, 2021
  • The first European to reach Arkansas was explorer Hernando de Soto, in 1541.[9]
  • Arkansan Hattie Wyatt Caraway (1931–1945) was the first woman elected to serve a full term as a United States Senator.[6]
  • You could fit all of Greece and almost all of Puerto Rico into Arkansas.[9]
  • During the height of the AIDS pandemic in Arkansas, a lone woman single-handedly buried and held funerals for over 40 gay men when their own families wouldn't claim them.[10]
  • Arkansas has the only active diamond mine in the United States.[9]
  • Arkansas Duck Call Fact
    Calling the wild
  • The World Championship Duck Calling Contest in Arkansas is the longest running duck-calling contest in history.[2]
  • The three largest diamonds found in America were found in Arkansas.[9]
  • Fouke, Arkansas, is reportedly the home of the Fouke Monster, who is, according to legend, a cousin to bigfoot.[15]
  • Arkansas is one of the few states that has a legal pronunciation of its name.[9]
  • Famous Arkansas inventions include fried pickles, modern archery, the Wonder Horse, the Bowie knife, and cheese-filled hot dogs.[7]
  • More catfish are eaten in Arkansas than in any other state.[9]
  • Arkansas produces more rice than any other state.[9]
  • In the early 20th century, Arkansas' hot springs were a popular "hotspot" for baseball spring training.[7]
  • There are about 11.8 billion trees in Arkansas, and over half the state is covered in forests.[9]
  • Arkansas is a curious and interesting community . . . it is probably the most untouched and unawakened of all American states.

    - John Gunther

  • The worst mass murderer in Arkansas history was Ronald Gene Simmons. He murdered his entire family of 14, including his 20-month-old grandson, and then shot 2 other people.[4]
  • Sam Walton opened the first WalMart in Rogers, Arkansas.[5]
  • The name "Arkansas" means "people who live downstream."[8]
  • What does Arkansas mean?
    The word "Arkansas" comes from the Quapaw Indians, by way of early French explorers

  • The city of Phoenix, Arkansas, was named after the mythical bird because it was built over an ancient Hohokam settlement.[9]
  • Alma, Arkansas, is the self-proclaimed spinach capital of the world because their spinach canning company once processed over half of all canned spinach in the United States. The town even has a giant statue of Popeye to commemorate its leafy past.[1]
  • The Arkansas State Capitol was built on the grounds of the former Arkansas State Penitentiary. During excavation of its foundation in 1899, long-forgotten wooden coffins were unearthed.[3]
  • In 1932, Representative Iva Gurley was crushed to death by the state capitol building's elevator.[3]
  • The first cheese dip was created in Arkansas.[14]
  • Napoleon Bonaparte, former leader of France, sold Arkansas to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.[9]
  • Little Rock gets its name from a small rock formation on the Arkansas River's southern bank, which is known as la Petite Roche in French.[8]
  • Carrie Nation Facts
    Don't mess
  • Arkansas native Carry A. Nation was so opposed to alcohol that she would smash alcohol bottles with her hatchets, which she named Faith, Hope, and Charity.[13]
  • Old Mike was a traveling salesman who died in Arkansas in 1911 and was embalmed. He was inexplicably displayed in public outside a funeral home for over 60 years. He was finally buried in 1975.[12]
  • In 2011, over 1,000 blackbirds mysteriously fell from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. To this day, no one knows why.[11]
  • The mascot for the Arkansas School for the Deaf is named Deaf Leopard. In 2016, the students met their mascot's famous namesake, Def Leppard.[16]
  • In 1973, a severe storm picked up and rained down over 100 ducks in Arkansas.[17]
References

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