Interesting facts about Arkansas

arkansas flag

Arkansas is a state in the southeastern region of the United States.

It is bordered by Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest, Oklahoma to the west, Missouri to the north, as well as Tennessee and Mississippi on the east.

As of 1 January 2018, the population of Arkansas was estimated to be 3,004,279. It is the 33rd most populous state in the United States.

Arkansas is the 29th largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 137,733 square kilometers (53,180 square miles).

Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of Arkansas. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named “la petite roche” by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s.

little rock

The geography of Arkansas varies widely. The state’s diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

The highest point in the state is Mount Magazine in the Ouachita Mountains, which rises to 839 meters (2,753 feet) above sea level. It is a flat-topped mountain or mesa capped by hard rock and rimmed by precipitous cliffs. Mount Magazine.

mount magazine

Arkansas contains over 2,430 square kilometers (600,000 acres) of lakes and 15,600 kilometers (9,700 miles) of streams and rivers.

Arkansas is home to many caves, such as Blanchard Springs Caverns [photo below]. With 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) of surveyed passage, Blanchard is the second longest cave in Arkansas and the largest in volume.

blanchard springs caverns

Arkansas has 7 national parks and 52 state parks.

Hot Springs National Park, is located in central Arkansas. Established in 1921, it occupies an area of 23 square kilometers (9 square miles). It is centred on 47 thermal springs, from which more than 3,200,000 liters (850,000 gallons) of water, with an average temperature of 62 °C (143 °F), flow daily. The hot spring water has been popularly believed for centuries to possess medicinal properties, and was a subject of legend among several Native American tribes.

hot springs national park

Crater of Diamonds State Park in southwestern Arkansas is the world’s only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. Diamonds have continuously been discovered in the field since 1906, including the Strawn-Wagner Diamond.. The site became an Arkansas state park in 1972. The park also features a museum and water playground.

crater of diamonds state park

Bentonville’s world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art seamlessly blends the natural splendor of the Ozark hills and an impressive collection of American masterworks (such as Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter”). Set on 120 forested acres (0.5 square kilometers), the architecturally stunning museum features nature-centric design elements such as glass-enclosed bridges over ponds.

crystal bridges museum of american art

Thorncrown Chapel is a chapel located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, designed by E. Fay Jones and constructed in 1980. The design recalls the Prairie School of architecture popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom Jones had apprenticed. The chapel was commissioned by Jim Reed, a retired schoolteacher. Thorncrown was included in Budget Travel’s “12 Most Beautiful Churches in America” and Bored Panda’s “50 Most Extraordinary Churches Of The World.”

thorncrown chapel

Little Rock Central High School was where desegregation began. The army escorted nine black teenagers to their first day of school here in 1957, without incident. The event was noted as being an important moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

little rock central high school

The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory by the United States from France in 1803. Part of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, Arkansas became a separate territory in 1819 and achieved statehood in 1836. Arkansas became the ninth state to secede from the union and join the Confederate States of America.

Arkansas is home to a wide array of natural resources including petroleum, natural gas, bromine and silica stone. Throughout the 20th century, the state was responsible for providing roughly 90 percent of all domestic Bauxite, from which aluminum is made.

Sam Walton began his conquest of the world in 1945, with a loan of $20,000 from his father-in-law and a small variety store in Newport, Arkansas, where he established the practices that define present-day Wal-Mart: he kept prices as low as possible, stocked a wide range of goods, and stayed open longer than anyone else. His margins were small, but he sold large quantities, which meant he could bargain for even lower prices from wholesalers – policies that still drive smaller local stores out of business.

walmart logo

The name Arkansas means “south wind” and is derived from a name used by some Native Americans to describe the Quapaws, an early tribe in the area. The region was spelled various ways over the years, but entered the Union as Arkansas in 1836. The pronunciation Ark-an-saw” became the pronunciation in 1881.

Arkansas’s earliest recorded nicknames, the “Bear State” and the “Toothpick State,” made reference to characteristic features of the region:
• The “Bear State”  In the first half of the nineteenth century, Arkansas was noted for its population of Louisiana black bears, one of sixteen black bear subspecies found in the United States. Human activities reduced the population of native black bears to fewer than fifty by the middle of the twentieth century.

black bear

• The “Toothpick State” referenced the early custom of men carrying large sheath or belt knives, often double-edged dirks or daggers. The “toothpick” served as a common inexpensive sidearm and soon became fixed in the public imagination. The messy dispatching by knife of one Arkansas state representative by another in 1837 cemented the new state’s renown as a violent place.

Arkansas did not acquire a formal or official nickname until 1923, when the Arkansas General Assembly adopted the slogan of the Arkansas Advancement Association, “Wonder State”, as the state’s official nickname.
arkansas map
In the early 1940s, a group of Little Rock businessmen known as the Committee of 100 began promoting Arkansas as “Land of Opportunity” In 1941, that tag phrase appeared for the first time on Arkansas auto license plates.

In the mid-1980s, the Arkansas parks system began promoting Arkansas as “The Natural State” and the nickname proved popular, largely eclipsing the older “Land of Opportunity” in public esteem and currency.

Arkansas officially designated the magnificent white-tailed deer as state mammal in 1993.

The mockingbird was officially recognized as the state bird of Arkansas in 1929.


The honeybee was designated the official state insect of Arkansas in 1973.

Arkansas designated the apple blossom as the official state flower in 1901.

Arkansas designated the pine tree as the official state tree in 1939 in recognition of the state’s pine timber resources and reforestation efforts.

Arkansas designated diamond as the official state gem in 1967. Arkansas is one of the few places in North America where diamonds are present and the only place where tourists may hunt for them.


Arkansas designated the quartz crystal as the official state mineral in 1967.

Bauxite was designated the official state rock in 1967.

Arkansas designated the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato as the official state fruit and vegetable in 1987.

Milk was recognized as the official state beverage of Arkansas in 1985.

The World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest is held every Thanksgiving weekend in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

Pine Bluff is world’s center for archery bow production.

Little River County Courthouse is world famous for it’s Christmas lights display

Alma claims to be the Spinach Capital of the World.

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