Return to homeArkansas stands 27th among the states, with an area
of 53,187 square miles. Arkansas Facts: www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/facts.aspx 1722
Legend has it that the Arkansas “Little Rock"
rock was first discovered at this time by the French explorer Jean
Baptiste Benard de La Harpe. It was the first outcropping of any
size on an 118-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.
1819 Mar 2, Territory of
Arkansas was organized. [see Jul 4]
1819 Jul 4, The Territory of
Arkansas was created. [see Mar 2]
(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1828 May 6, The Cherokee
Indians were forced to sign a treaty giving up their Arkansas
Reservation for a new home in what later became Oklahoma. This led
to a split in the tribe as one group moved to Oklahoma and others
stayed behind and became known as the Lost Cherokees.
1832 Congress set aside the
thermal springs at Hot Springs, Ark., as a federal reservation.
(USAT, 2/4/04, p.9A)
1833 Aug 7, Powell Clayton,
Brig. General (Union volunteers), (Gov-R-Ark), was born in Pa.
1836 Jun 15, Arkansas was
admitted into the Union as the 25th state.
(AP, 6/15/97)(HN, 6/15/98)
1840 A US no-bail-out policy
forced some state into default. Several US states had loaded up on
unsustainable debt following an extended period of easy credit.
These states consequently found payments on their existing bonds
increasingly unaffordable. Between 1841 and 1843 Arkansas (1841),
Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi,
Pennsylvania and one territory – a proto-state called Florida –
(Econ, 2/11/12, p.57)(http://tinyurl.com/6pgf4wq)
1841 The state of Arkansas,
facing financial difficulties, stopped paying interest on a $500,000
investment that was dedicated to finance the Smithsonian Institute.
Under pressure from congressman J.Q. Adams, Congress repealed the
bill that authorized the Smithson bequest in state bonds and ordered
the US Treasury to take over interest payments. The principal was
lost, but the interest was enough to endow the institute. From
1841-1842 8 states and the territory of Florida defaulted. This led
states to set up strong constitutional barriers to debt
(ON, 2/06, p.6)(Econ, 6/19/10, p.31)
1855 Nov 21, Franklin Colman, a
pro-slavery Missourian, gunned down Charles Dow, a Free Stater from
Ohio, near Lawrence, Kansas.
1857 Sep 11, The Mountain
Meadows Massacre of the Fancher emigrant wagon train in Utah
Territory was carried out by Mormons fearful of an impending
invasion by the US Army. Church patriarch and adopted son of Brigham
Young, John Doyle Lee, offered safe passage to the nearly 150 men,
women and children on the Fancher train from Arkansas crossing
Mormon Utah bound for California, if they left their weapons,
livestock and wagons behind-ostensibly to appease hostile Indians.
All but the youngest children were slaughtered. Lee, who first
blamed the massacre on Paiute Indians, was excommunicated in 1870
and tried, convicted and executed in 1877 for his role in the
killings. 120 settlers were killed; 17 children, all under 7, were
spared. In 2002 Will Bagley authored “Blood of the Prophets: Brigham
Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows." In 2011 the site was
dedicated as a national historic landmark.
(SFC, 10/23/02, p.H4)(AP, 9/11/07)(SFC, 9/12/11,
1859 Feb 28, Arkansas
legislature required free blacks to choose exile or slavery.
1861 Feb 12, State troops
seized US munitions in Napoleon, Ak.
1861 Apr 23, Arkansas troops
seized Fort Smith.
1861 May 6, Arkansas became the
ninth state to secede from the Union.
1862 Mar 6, Battle of Pea
Ridge, AR (Elkhorn Tavern). [see Mar 7]
1862 Mar 7, Confederate forces
surprised the Union army at the Battle of Pea Ridge, in Arkansas,
but the Union was victorious. [see Mar 6,8]
1862 Mar 8, On the second day
of the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern) in Arkansas, Confederate
forces, including some Indian troops, under General Earl Van Dorn
surprised Union troops, but the Union troops won the battle. Pea
Ridge Natl. Military Park, Arkansas, marked the site where
Confederate commanders, Gen. Ben McCulloch and Gen. James McIntosh,
(Postcard, Coastal Photo Scenics, SW
Harbor, Maine)(HN, 3/8/98)(HN, 3/8/99)
1862 Jul 12, Federal troops
occupied Helena, Arkansas.
1862 Oct 22, Union troops
pushed 5,000 confederates out of Maysbille, Ark., at the Second
Battle of Pea Ridge.
1862 Nov 28, The Battle at Cane
Hill, Arkansas, left 475 casualties. In late November, Maj. Gen.
Thomas C. Hindman detached Brig. Gen. John Marmaduke's cavalry from
Van Buren north to occupy the Cane Hill area. Hearing of this
movement, Brig. Gen. James Blunt advanced to meet Marmaduke's
command and destroy it, if possible. The Union vanguard encountered
Col. Joe Shelby's brigade, which fought a delaying action to protect
their supply trains. Shelby gradually gave ground until establishing
a strong defensive perimeter on Cove Creek where he repulsed a
determined attack. The Federals withdrew to Cane Hill, while the
Confederates returned to Van Buren.
1862 Dec 7, Confederate forces
surprise an equal number of Union troops at the Battle of Prairie
1863 Jan 11, Union forces
captured Arkansas Post, or Ft. Hindman, Arkansas.
1863 Jul 4, Failed Confederate
assault on Helena Arkansas left 640 casualties.
1863 Aug 1, Battle of Little
Rock, AK, and start of the Chattanooga campaign.
1863 Sep 27, Jo Shelby's
cavalry in action at Moffat's Station, Arkansas.
David O. Dodd (17), an Arkansas teenage spy, was hanged by Union
forces the grounds of his former school. He reportedly chose to hang
rather than betray the Confederate cause.
1864 Mar 23, Encounter at
1864 Mar 29, Union General
Steele's troops reached Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
1864 Mar 30, Skirmish at Mount
1864 Apr 2, Skirmish at
1864 Apr 15, General Steele's
Union troops occupied Camden, Arkansas.
1864 Apr 25, Battle of Marks'
1864 Oct 25, Skirmishes took
place at Mine Creek, Ka., and Turkeytown, Al.
1864 The Confederate War Dept.
organized the Indian tribes of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas
into the Indian Division. Cherokee Gen’l. Stand Watie commanded the
Cherokee Mounted Rifles.
(WSJ, 6/9/97, p.A19)
1866 Apr 2, Pres. ended war in
Ala, Ark, Fla, Ga, Miss, La, NC, SC, Ten & Va.
1868 Jun 22, Arkansas was
re-admitted to the Union.
1869 Mar 13, Arkansas
legislature passed anti-Klan law.
1872 Little Rock, Arkansas,
blasted huge chunks of its namesake rock to make room for a railway
bridge. In 2009 the city launched a $650,000 project to excavate the
remains of the neglected “Little Rock," estimated to be 300 million
(WSJ, 1/28/09, p.A1)
1873 Hope, Arkansas, was
founded to accommodate the newly emerging Cairo & Fulton
Railroad. It was named after Hope Loughborough, the daughter of one
of the executives. Later Pres. Bill Clinton spent 4 childhood years
at 117 South Hervey St. with his grandparents Eldridge and Edith
(SFC, 3/13/99, p.A3)
1874 Arkansas passed a
constitution that included a ban on gambling. In 2008 Arkansas
voters approved a state lottery by a 63% margin.
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.45)
1879 By this time a judge
spread the claim that Dr. Jackson’s Eye Water had cured his
crippling “red skin" disease. Dr. Alvah Jackson of Eureka Springs,
Ark., had bottled water from the local Basin Spring as a elixir
following claims that it had cured his son’s granulated eyelids.
(SSFC, 9/16/07, p.G5)
1887 Jan 11, At Fort Smith,
Ark., hang man deluxe George Maledon dispatched four more victims in
a multiple hanging.
1887 Nov 27, U.S. Deputy
Marshall Frank Dalton, brother of the three famous outlaws, was
killed in the line of duty near Fort Smith, Ark.
1905 Feb 15, The 1st race meet
at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. was run.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1908 Nov 13, Comer Van Woodward
(d.1999), later renowned historian and author, was born in Vanndale.
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.C14)
1909 Mar 8, An F4 tornado hit
Brinkley, Arkansas, killing 49 people. It was but one of 7 to touch
down on the state this day.
(SSFC, 3/8/09, p.C10)
1913 Mar 13, Kansas legislature
approved censorship of motion pictures.
1913 Paul Pfeiffer moved his
family from St. Louis to a house on Cherry St. in Piggott, Ark.
Pfeiffer was a part owner of a chemical company and had purchased
63,000 acres of farmland around Piggott.
(SFC, 7/28/00, p.C12)
1914 Sep 2, William T. Dillard
(d.2002), founder of Dillard’s department store chain, was born in
(SFC, 2/11/02, p.B5)
1919 Jan 19, John H. Johnson
(d.2005), editor and publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, was born
(HN, 1/19/99)(SFC, 8/8/05, p.B4)
1919 Oct 1, Black sharecroppers
gathered at Elaine, Arkansas, to secure a more equitable price for
their products. When a white deputy sheriff and a railroad
detective, arrived at the church, a fight broke out between them and
the guards in which the railroad detective was killed and the deputy
sheriff was wounded. This led to 3 days of fighting and the killing
of 5 white men and close to 200 black men, women and children. The
Arkansas state court later sentenced 12 sharecroppers to death and a
5-year legal battle ensued. In 2008 Robert Whitaker authored “"On
the Laps of Gods: The Red Summer of 1919 and the Struggle for
Justice That Remade a Nation."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Race_Riot)(SSFC, 7/27/08, Books
1920s Wildcatters discovered
oil in Arkansas and Smackover became the center of the short-lived
boom. Rev. T.O. Rorie, a visiting Methodist preacher, wrote about
Smackover in his book "Hellhole of the World." Bromine later
replaced oil as the area's cash resource.
(WSJ, 2/14/00, p.A1)
1927 May 24, The final levee
breach of the 1927 flood occurred at McCrea, Louisiana, on the east
bank of the Atchafalaya levee. The flood along the Mississippi
killed some 500 people and displaced thousands. The levee system
broke in 145 places and caused 27,000 square miles of flooding in
Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In 1997 the book "Rising Tide" by John M. Barry described the
catastrophe. It was also the subject of the Randy Newman song
p.A12)(SFC, 11/28/03, p.C7)(SSFC, 9/4/05, p.A7)(WSJ, 11/2/05,
p.A2)(Econ, 5/21/11, p.30)
1927 Ernest Hemingway married
Pauline Pfeiffer, his 2nd wife of 4. They lived together in Paris
and Key West until 1940, and often visited Piggott, Ark.
(SFC, 7/28/00, p.C12)
1929 Nov 15, Edward Asner,
actor (Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant), was born in KC, Kansas.
1930 Paul Pfeiffer founded the
Piggott State Bank.
(SFC, 7/28/00, p.C12)
1931 Jan 3, Hundreds of
farmers stormed a small town in depression-plagued Arkansas
1932 Jan 12, Mrs. Hattie W.
Caraway (Ophelia Wyatt Caraway) a Democrat from Arkansas, became the
first woman elected to the US Senate.
1932 Feb 26, Johnny Cash
(d.2003) country singer (I Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Boy
Named Sue), was born in Kingsland, Arkansas.
(NW, 9/22/03, p.98)
1933 The state of Arkansas
defaulted on its debt.
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.31)
1936 Apr 22, Glen Campbell,
American country music singer (By the Time I get to Phoenix,
Galveston), was born in Arkansas.
1936 May 17, Dennis Hopper,
actor (True Grit, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider), was born in Kansas.
1939 Aug 17, Luther Allison,
guitarist (Bad News is Coming), was born in Arkansas.
1941 L.C. Bates his wife Daisy
founded the Arkansas State Press and turned the weekly newspaper
into a leading voice for civil rights in Little Rock. The paper shut
down in 1959 when advertisers pulled out under pressure from
(SFC, 11/5/99, p.D7)
1943 Sam Walton (d.1992)
married Helen Robson.
(SFEC, 9/3/00, Par p.4)
1944 Feb 15, Nathan Gordon
(1916-2008), US Navy pilot from Arkansas, and his crew made 4
separate flying boat landings to rescue a number of aviators from
B-52 bombers, which had been shot down while attacking Japanese
positions near Kavieng harbor on New Ireland Island, Papua New
Guinea. Gordon later became the longest-serving lieutenant governor
(SFC, 9/15/08, p.B8)
1945 Sam Walton opened his
first variety store in Newport, Arkansas, with a $20,000 loan from
his wife’s father. [see 1950]
(SFEC, 9/3/00, Par p.4)
1946 Aug 19, Bill Clinton, US
President from 1992-2000, was born as William J. Blythe III in Hope,
Arkansas. He was the son of Virginia Cassidy Blythe and William
Jefferson Blythe II. Clinton’s father was killed in a traffic
accident prior to his birth. His mother married Roger Clinton when
Bill was 4 years old.
(SFC, 7/14/96, Par p.23)(SFEC, 3/9/96, Z1
p.5)(WUD, 1994 p.1698)(HNQ, 1/1/02)
1948 Aug 24, Edith Mae Irby
became the University of Arkansas' first African-American student.
1949 Georgia O’Keeffe gave an
art collection, that included the work of her late husband, Alfred
Steiglitz, to Fisk Univ. in Tennessee. In 2012 a judge approved a
deal for Fisk to sell a 50% stake to the Crystal Bridges Museum of
Art in Arkansas created by Walmart heiress Alice Walton.
(SFC, 11/9/13, p.A10)
1950 Sam Walton in Bentonville,
Ark., hit on the idea of a large retail store in rural areas stocked
with the lowest-priced goods available and founded Wal-Mart. In 1962
he started his Wal-Mart discount chain. [see 1945]
(WSJ, 11/18/98, p.A20)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1953 Feb 8, Mary Steenburgen,
actress (Parenthood, Time After Time), was born in Newport, Ark.
1954 Aug 23, The small
community of Charleston, Arkansas, became the first in the South to
end segregation in its schools. This was in response to the May 17
US Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education.
1955 Orval Faubus (1910-1994)
began serving as the 34th governor of Arkansas. He served 6
consecutive terms and left office in 1967.
1957 Sep 2, Arkansas Gov. Orval
Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students
from entering Central High School in Little Rock. Pres. Eisenhower
soon responded with Federal troops to enforce federal law for
integration. The nine students, mentored by Daisy Gatson (d.1999 at
84) went on to lead very productive lives as detailed in a 1997
1957 Sep 14, Pres. Eisenhower
met with Arkansas Gov. Faubus in Rhode Island. Faubus agreed to
cooperate with the president’s decisions regarding the high schools
of Little Rock.
1957 Sep 23, Nine black
students who had entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas
were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside. Pres.
Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10730 to send Federal troops to
maintain order and peace while the integration of Central High
School in Little Rock, AR, took place.
1957 Sep 24, President Dwight
D. Eisenhower sent federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to
protect nine black students entering its newly integrated high
1957 Sep 25, With 300 members
of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division standing guard, nine
black children forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little
Rock, Ark., because of unruly white crowds, were escorted to class.
Vice principle Elizabeth Huckaby (d.1999 at 93) escorted the
children and in 1980 published "Crisis at Central High."
(SFC, 3/26/99, p.D5)(AP, 9/25/07)
1957 Oct, Pres. Eisenhower
federalized the Arkansas National Guard and ordered them to return
to their armories, which effectively removed them from the control
of Gov. Faubus.
1957 Nov 27, Army withdrew from
Little Rock, Ark., after Central HS integration.
1958 May 27, Ernest Green and
600 whites graduated from Little Rock's Central High School. Green
became the first black Central High graduate.
1958 May 29, Annette Bening,
actress (American Beauty, Grifters, Bugsy, Valmont), was born in
1958 Jun 21, A federal judge
allowed Little Rock Arkansas to delay school integration.
1958 Aug 27, The Arkansas
Legislature voted 94-1 to pass a law allowing Gov. Orval E. Faubus
to close public schools in the face of forced integration. Ray S.
Smith (1924-2007) was the only dissenting legislator.
(SFC, 11/13/07, p.D9)
1957 Sep 4, Arkansas National
guardsmen turned away Black students from Central High School in
Little Rock. 9 students made it into the school on September 24
under the protection of federal troops sent by Pres. Eisenhower. In
2007 Elizabeth Jacoway authored “Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the
Crises That Shocked the Nation."
(AH, 10/07, p.61)
1958 Sep 12, The US Supreme
Court, in Cooper v. Aaron, unanimously ruled that Arkansas officials
who were resisting public school desegregation orders could not
disregard the high court's rulings.
1957 Sep 24, President Dwight
D. Eisenhower sent federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to
protect nine black students entering its newly integrated high
1958 Sep, Orval Faubus
(1910-1994), governor of Arkansas, shut Little Rock’s schools to
prevent any more black children from attending white schools.
1959 Jun 18, A Federal Court
annulled the Arkansas law allowing school closings to prevent
1961 Jul 28, Scott E.
Parazynski, MD, astronaut, was born in Little Rock, Ark.
1962 Daisy Bates (d.1999 at 87)
authored "The Long Shadow of Little Rock." It was about the 1956
desegregation of the Little Rock bus system and the 1957 integration
of Central High.
(SFC, 11/5/99, p.D7)
1962 Sam Walton of Bentonville,
Ark., founder of Wal-Mart (1950), started his Wal-Mart discount
chain. It became America's biggest retailer in 1990. In 2004 Liza
Featherstone authored “Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for
Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart." In 2006 Charles Fishman authored “The
Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works
– And How It’s Transforming the American Economy" and Anthony Bianco
authored “The Bully of Bentonville: How the High Cost of Wal-Mart’s
Everyday Low Prices is Hurting America."
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(Econ, 9/11/04, p.62)(Econ,
2/25/06, p.80, 85)
1968 May 15, A tornado at
Jonesboro, Arkansas, killed 34 people. Another near Anchorage,
Alaska, killed one person.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.D8)
1968 Nov 12, The US Supreme
Court in Epperson v. Arkansas voided an Arkansas law banning the
teaching of evolution in public schools.
1970 Oct 2, A plane carrying
the Wichita State U football team crashed killing 30.
1971 Jun 18, Fred Smith
(b.1944) founded Federal Express Corporation, an overnight air
freight delivery service, in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was based on
a hub and spoke business plan he cooked up at Yale. In 1973 he moved
the operation to Memphis, Tennessee.
(http://tinyurl.com/6mvfvy)(Econ, 11/18/06, p.70)
1973 Feb 22, Winthrop
Rockefeller (b.1912), two-year term Arkansas Governor (1967-1971),
died of cancer. He was the 4th son of John D. Rockefeller.
1974 Bill Clinton in an
Arkansas congressional race lost his 1st bid for elective office to
John Paul Hammerschmidt, a GOP incumbent.
(SFC, 5/23/03, p.A26)
1975 Oct 11, Bill Clinton
married Hillary Rodham in Fayetteville.
(SFEC, 3/28/99, Par p.4)
1976 Apr 15, Gerald L.K. Smith
(b.1898), a leader of the “Share Our Wealth" movement and founder of
the America First Party (1943), died in Arkansas.
1977 Arkansas passed an
anti-sodomy law. A judge threw it out in 2001.
(SFC, 3/24/01, p.C1)
1978 Apr 25, William Clinton
(31), attorney general of Arkansas and candidate for governor,
sexually assaulted Juanita Broderick at the Camelot Inn in Little
Rock. Broderick made the story public in 1999.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A1,10)
1978 Jun 18, The Whitewater
business venture was incorporated. Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and
his wife Hillary set up their 50-50 Whitewater venture with Mr.
& Mrs. McDougal. The Clintons lost money in the real estate deal
that later turned into the Whitewater scandal.
8/19/96, p.A12)(SFC, 6/4/96, p.A19)
1980 Feb 27, Chelsea Clinton,
daughter of Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (1993-2001), was born in
1980 Sep 18, In Damascus,
Arkansas, a nuclear-armed Titan II missile exploded in its silo
killing one serviceman and spreading toxic fumes in the area. In
2013 Eric Schlosser authored “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons,
the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety."
(SSFC, 9/22/13, p.F1)
1980 Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton
lost his re-election bid for the governor’s office to Frank White
(SFC, 1/29/98, p.A3)(SFC, 5/23/03, p.A26)
1980s The Whitewater real
estate deal involved Bill and Hillary Clinton, James and Susan
McDougal, and Jim Guy Tucker. A final report in 2002 found that the
deal benefited from criminal transactions but that there was
insufficient evidence to prove wrongdoing by the Clintons.
(WSJ, 3/21/02, p.A1)
1981 Barry Seal (1939-1986),
gunrunner, drug trafficker, and covert CIA operative, began his
operations at the Intermountain Regional Airport in Mena, Arkansas.
Seal was murdered by Colombian assassins in Feb, 1986, after he had
testified in federal court in Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami
for the US government against leaders of the Medellin drug cartel.
According to a 1986 letter from the Louisiana attorney general to
then US attorney general Edwin Meese, Seal had "smuggled between $3
billion and $5 billion of drugs into the US." Among the aircraft
flown in and out of Mena was Seal's C-123K cargo plane, christened
Fat Lady. Records show that Fat Lady, serial number 54-0679, was
sold by Seal months before his death. On Oct 5, 1986, Fat Lady was
shot down over Nicaragua with a load of arms destined for the
1982 Jan 5, A Federal judge
voided an Arkansas state law requiring balanced classroom treatment
of evolution and creationism.
1982 In Arkansas former Gov.
Bill Clinton won his election bid for the governor’s office with the
help of political consultant Dick Morris.
(SFC, 1/29/98, p.A3)
1983 Jun 3, Gordon Kahl
(b.1920), a militant tax protester wanted in the slayings of two US
marshals in North Dakota, was killed in a gun battle with law
enforcement officials near Smithville, Ark. Kahl was a former member
of the anti-tax Posse Comitatus movement founded in 1969 by Henry L
1983 Gov. Clinton had an
intimate sexual encounter by mutual consent with Mrs. Elizabeth Ward
Gracen, a 1982 Miss America.
(SFC, 4/1/98, p.A3)
1984 The Arkansas Museum of Oil
and Brine opened. The name was later changed to the Museum of
(WSJ, 2/14/00, p.A1)
1986 Gov. Clinton lobbied
Little Rock judge and small-business financier David Hale to make a
$300,000 loan to Susan McDougal. The Clinton-McDougal relationship
was later described by Jim McDougal in the 1998 book “Arkansas
Mischief" written with the assistance of Curtis Wilkie, published
after McDougal’s death in federal prison.
(WSJ, 6/4/98, p.A16)
1987 Aug 23, Two teenagers in
Alexander, Arkansas, Kevin Ives and Don Henry were run over by a
train. Fahmy Malak, the medical examiner of Gov. Clinton, ruled the
Aug 23 deaths of the teenagers as accidental. Malak was investigated
and cleared of improprieties. Later investigations indicated that
they were murdered prior to being run over.
(WSJ, 4/15/97, p.A18)(WSJ, 4/18/96, p.A-18)
1987 Dec 28, The bodies of 14
relatives of R. Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover,
Ark., following a shooting spree by Simmons in Russellville that
claimed two other lives. (Simmons was later executed.)
1990 Heidi and Scott Riddle
established the nonprofit Riddle Elephant Breeding Farm and Wild
Life Sanctuary on 330 acres near Guy.
1991 Oct 3, Arkansas Gov. Bill
Clinton entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1992 Jan 24, The state of
Arkansas executed convicted cop-killer Rickey Ray Rector after Gov.
Bill Clinton refused to intervene.
1992 Apr 5, Wal-Mart founder
Sam Walton died in Little Rock, Ark., at age 74. In 1999 Bob Ortega
authored the biography "In Sam We Trust."
(AP, 4/5/97)(SFEC, 4/18/99, BR p.9)
1992 May 2, Former US House
Ways and Means Chairman Wilbur D. Mills died in Searcy, Ark., at age
1992 Jul 15, Arkansas Gov. Bill
Clinton claimed the Democratic presidential nomination at the
party's convention in New York City.
1992 Nov 3, Bill Clinton,
governor of Arkansas, was elected as the 42nd president of the
United States, defeating President Bush, who won 38% of the popular
vote. Clinton won Ohio by 2 percentage points.
(AP, 11/3/97)(HN, 11/3/98)(SSFC, 4/29/01,
p.D1)(Econ, 8/2/08, p.31)
1992 Dec, The Arkansas
Legislature enacted a tax on soft drinks. t went to a vote with the
citizens of Arkansas in 1994. The yes vote won with 55% of the
turnout. The tax was modeled after one held by North Carolina
1993 May 5, In West Memphis,
Arkansas, Cub Scouts Steve Branch (8), Christopher Byers (8) and
Michael Moore (8) were found dead, nude and hogtied. Rumors of
Satanism roiled the community in the weeks following their deaths.
In 1994 Jason Baldwin (16) was sentenced to life in prison; Jessie
Misskelley (18) was sentenced to life plus 40 years; Damien Echols
(19) was sentenced to death. The case was largely based on a
confession by Misskelley, who was mentally handicapped. In 1996 Jo
Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky made an HBO documentary: "The Child
Murders at Robin Hood Hills." In 2007 new DNA tests and forensic
evidence challenged the guilt of the teenagers. In 2011 the
defendants, known by their supporters as the West Memphis 3, agreed
to a legal maneuver that let them maintain their innocence while
acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence against them.
6/11/96, p.A16)(WSJ, 3/13/00, p.A44)(SFC, 12/20/07, p.A6)(AP,
1993 Dr. George Tiller was shot
in both arms by an abortion protester. He returned to work the next
(SSFC, 1/20/02, p.A12)
1993 Little Rock, Ark., hit a
record 76 murders for the year.
(SSFC, 8/11/02, p.F6)
1994 Jan 6, Virginia Kelley
Clinton (70), mother of Pres Clinton, died in Hot Springs, Ark.
(AP, 1/6/99)(MC, 1/6/02)
1994 Feb 26, Bill Hicks (32),
writer and comedian, died in Little Rock, Ark.
1994 Mar 14, Associate Attorney
General Webster Hubbell, a longtime friend of President and Mrs.
Clinton, resigned because of controversy over billings he'd charged
while in private law practice.
1994 Apr 4, The University of
Arkansas won the NCAA basketball championship, defeating Duke 76-72.
1994 May 11, Arkansas put to
death two convicted murderers; it was the first time a state
executed two people on the same day since the U.S. Supreme Court
allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976.
1994 Dec 14, Former Arkansas
Governor Orval E. Faubus, died at age 84. His refusal to let nine
black students into Little Rock's Central High School in 1957 forced
President Eisenhower to send in federal troops.
1994 Mike Huckabee was elected
as lieutenant governor of Arkansas.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.33)
1994 Webster L. Hubbell, a
player in the Whitewater-Madison land deal with Pres. Clinton,
resigned from the Justice Dept. and launched a private consulting
practice in Washington. He received substantial aide from important
public and private figures. He had been appointed by Bill Clinton as
chief justice of Arkansas when Clinton was governor. He was later
sentenced to prison for bilking his partners in the Little Rock law
firm where he worked with Hillary Clinton. Ind. Council Kenneth
Starr asserted that Hubbell accepted thousands of dollars in bogus
consulting fees, and that the payments were hush money to keep him
talking about financial deals in Arkansas.
(SFC, 9/12/98, p.A12)(SFC, 1/27/99, p.A3)
1994-1998 In Arkansas 59 bald eagles were found
dead at DeGray Lake and Lake Hamilton. Their deaths were associated
with dead coots and followed 10-20 days after heavy rains. Runoff
containing hazardous materials was suspected.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.A14)
1995 Jul 18, US Senate
Republicans opened a new round of Whitewater hearings.
1995 Aug 17, James B. McDougal,
McDougal’s ex-wife, Susan H. McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy
Tucker were indicted by the Whitewater grand jury. James McDougal
was convicted on 18 of 19 counts of fraud and conspiracy; Tucker was
found guilty on one count of fraud and one count of conspiracy;
Susan McDougal was convicted on four fraud-related charges. James B.
McDougal’s sentencing was delayed when the court suggested he
testify against the Clintons. He died of a heart attack in federal
prison in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 8, 1998. Susan H. McDougal was
sentenced to two years in prison, probation, community service and
$305,000 in fines and restitution. She received a full Presidential
pardon from outgoing President Bill Clinton in the final hours of
his presidency on January 20, 2001. Jim Guy Tucker was convicted of
three counts of felony; due to his poor health, he was sentenced to
four years probation and 18 months of house detention and $325,000
in fines and restitution.
1996 Mar 4, Jury selection
began in Little Rock, Ark., in the trial of President Clinton's
Whitewater partners, James and Susan McDougal, and the man who
succeeded him as Arkansas governor, Jim Guy Tucker. James McDougal
and Tucker were later convicted of fraud and conspiracy; Susan
McDougal was convicted of fraud.
1996 May 28, A US jury
convicted the former business partners of Pres. Clinton in the
Whitewater Case, James and Susan McDougal, and Jim Guy Tucker,
governor of Arkansas. Tucker was charged with creating a sham
bankruptcy to avoid paying taxes on profits from a sold cable TV
company in which he was a partner. Tucker resigned after the
verdict. He briefly reversed his decision, but finally stepped down
in July. In 1998 Tucker pleaded guilty to a felony charge of fraud
and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors of independent council
(SFC, 5/29/96, A1)(WSJ, 1/2/97, p.R2)(SFC,
1996 Jul 15, Arkansas Gov. Guy
Tucker stepped down following a felony conviction in the Whitewater
scandal. Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee became governor.
(WSJ, 1/2/97, p.R2)(Econ, 2/3/07, p.33)
1996 Aug 19, A judge sentenced
former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker to four years' probation for his
1996 Aug 20, Susan McDougal was
sentenced in Little Rock, Ark., to two years in prison in a
Whitewater fraud case. She served three months of that sentence, but
also 18 months for contempt for refusing to answer questions about
1996 Wal-Mart first entered
China through a joint-venture agreement. By 2011 Walmart had 338
shops in 124 Chinese cities with 90,000 employees.
1997 Mar 1, Severe storms hit
Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, and spawned tornadoes in
Arkansas blamed for two dozen deaths.
1997 May 9, A pesticide plant
burned after an explosion in West Helena, Ark. The chemical
Azinphosmethyl was not supposed to have exploded unless it was
heated and decomposed. A levee was built to keep poison-laden
rainwater from entering the Mississippi River. Three firefighters
(SFC, 5/10/97, p.A8)
1997 Sep 25, President Clinton
pulled open the door of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., as
he welcomed nine blacks who had faced hate-filled mobs 40 years
1997 Christina Marie Riggs
drugged and suffocated her 2 children to death. She was convicted
for murder and executed by injection in 2000. It was the state’s
first execution of a woman in over 150 years.
(SFC, 5/3/00, p.A6)
1998 Jan 29, Yah Lin Trie
("Charlie Trie"), a Little Rock restaurateur, was indicted under 15
counts in relation to fund raising for the Democratic Party. In 1999
Trie agreed to plead guilty to 2 counts of violating federal
election laws, one felony and one misdemeanor for a maximum of 3
(SFC, 5/22/99, p.A2)
1998 Apr 16, Tornadoes claimed
11 lives in Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
(SFC, 4/17/98, p.A1)(AP, 4/16/08)
1998 Apr 25, In Little Rock two
little girls, Sidney Pippin (4-months old) and Vicky Fraley, died of
heat exhaustion after they were left in a car for 8 hours. Police
charged Ricky Leon Crisp (23), the father of Vicky (16-months old),
and Justin Griffith (27) with first-degree murder.
(SFC, 4/28/98, p.A3)
1998 Mar 24, In Jonesboro,
Ark., 2 boys, Mitchell Johnson (13) and Andrew Golden (11), opened
fire on a group of schoolchildren and killed four girls and one
teacher and wounded 11 others. The older boy was angry at a girl who
had broken up with him. Golden had stolen 7 guns from his
grandfather. The boys were remanded to the Division of Youth
Services until their 18th birthdays. Federal prosecutors used
weapons laws to keep the boys locked up until age 21. Mitchell
Johnson was due to be released in 2005.
(SFC, 3/25/98, p.A1)(SFC, 3/26/98, p.A1)(SFC,
8/12/98, p.A3)(AP, 8/12/05)
1998 Aug 11, Mitchell Johnson
(14), one of the shooters in the March 24 Jonesboro, Ark.,
schoolyard massacre, pleaded guilty to murder and battery. He and
Andrew Golden (12) were both convicted. The boys were detained by
Arkansas juvenile authorities until they turned 18, then transferred
to federal custody. Federal authorities released the two when they
turned 21. In 2008 a US District Judge sentenced Johnson (24) to 4
more years in prison for possession of a 9mm pistol, a Federal
violation of his parole. Charges remained pending on the possession
of marijuana and a stolen credit card.
1998 Nov 3, Arkansas Gov. Mike
Huckabee (b.1955) was elected in a landslide.
1998 Jesse Dirkhissing (13) of
Arkansas was raped for hours by 2 next door homosexuals and left to
die. The story followed the Wyoming Mat Shepard case and was ignored
by the main stream press.
(WSJ, 11/19/01, p.A18)
1999 Jan 3, An explosion on
Smackover, Ark., killed 3 men working on a naphtha tank valve.
(SFC, 1/14/99, p.A3)
1999 Jan 21, In Arkansas
twisters led to 4 deaths and over a dozen injuries across the state.
(SFC, 1/22/99, p.A3)
1999 Jan 22, More twisters hit
the South and 3 more people were killed in Arkansas and one in
Tennessee. The 100 year-old Quapaw district of Little Rock was hit
hard as was the historic district of Carksville, Tenn.
(SFC, 1/23/99, p.A3)(WSJ, 1/25/99, p.A1)
1999 Apr 12, In Arkansas US
District Judge Susan Webber Wright held Pres. Clinton in contempt of
court for giving "intentionally false" testimony about his
relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
(SFC, 4/13/99, p.A1)
1999 Apr 27, A federal grand
jury indicted ten top political figures in Arkansas for corruption.
Nick Wilson, the senior state senator, was indicted as the ring
leader of a group that diverted state money.
(SFC, 4/28/99, p.A3)
1999 May 1, In Hot Springs,
Arkansas, an amphibious tourist boat sank on Lake Hamilton and 11
people drowned. The death toll rose to 13 after one survivor died
and another body was found.
(SFEC, 5/2/99, p.A2)(SFC, 5/3/99, p.A2)
1999 May 10, Chevie Kehoe, a
white supremacist, was sentenced to life in prison without parole
for killing an Arkansas family and conspiring to overthrow the
(WSJ, 5/11/99, p.A1)
1999 May 17, Jim Guy Tucker,
former state governor, was ordered to pay $1 million for conspiring
to evade taxes on a cable TV business he sold in 1988. Tucker
planned to appeal.
(SFC, 5/18/99, p.A2)
1999 Jun 1, In Little Rock,
Ark., 9 people died when an American Airlines jet carrying 145
people crashed into a light tower on landing in stormy weather. The
toll climbed to 11 after 2 initial survivors died. In 2001 pilot
error was cited.
(SFC, 6/3/99, p.A1)(SFC, 6/17/99, p.A3)(SFC,
1999 Aug 26, Shawana Pace (23)
was attacked by three men hired by her boyfriend, who kicked her and
killed her soon to be due baby. The 3 men were charged with murder
under the new Arkansas Fetal Protection Law.
(SFC, 9/3/99, p.A3)
1999 The Hemingway-Pfeiffer
Museum and Educational Center opened in Piggott.
(SFC, 7/28/00, p.C12)
2000 Aug 28, An apparent
murder-suicide left a professor and a graduate student dead at the
Univ. of Arkansas. It was later found that the graduate student had
been kicked out of a degree program.
(WSJ, 8/28/00, p.A1)(WSJ, 8/30/00, p.A1)
2000 Sep 20, Robert Ray, the
independent counsel who succeeded Kenneth Starr, ended the $52
million Whitewater probe ended without charges against the Clintons,
saying there was insufficient evidence to warrant charges against
Pres. Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton.
(AP, 9/20/01)(WSJ, 9/21/00, p.A1)
2000 Lee Scott took over as
head of Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, the company’s 3rd boss. In late
2007 Scott announced that he would retire at the end of January,
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.70)
2001 Mar 23, Pulaski County
Circuit Judge David Bogard threw out the 1977 anti-sodomy law.
(SFC, 3/24/01, p.C1)
2001 Nov 23, Heavy storms hit
Arkansas and at least 4 people were killed.
(SSFC, 11/25/01, p.A19)
2001 Arkansas passed a Covenant
(Econ, 2/12/05, p.31)
2002 Feb 8, William T. Dillard
(b.1914), founder of Dillard’s department store chain, died in
Little Rock, Ark.
(SFC, 2/11/02, p.B5)(AP, 2/8/03)
2002 Jul 5, The Arkansas state
Supreme Court ruled that a law banning sexual relations between
people of the same sex was an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
(SFC, 7/6/02, p.A5)
2002 Dec 12, Dee Brown (94),
author of “Bury My heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the
American West" (1970), died in Little Rock, Ark.
(SFC, 12/16/02, p.A23)
2002 Dec 18, At least 4
tornadoes hit Arkansas and Missouri and killed 3 people with 30
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.A4)
2003 May 21, Frank White (69),
former governor (1981-1982), died in Little Rock.
(SFC, 5/23/03, p.A26)
2003 Oct 4, Sid McMath (91),
former 2-term governor of Arkansas, died.
(WSJ, 10/6/03, p.A1)
2003 Arkansas state legislators
passed an act to measure the body mass index of its schoolchildren.
Data soon revealed that 40% of the children are obese or at risk of
(Econ, 6/12/04, p.29)
2003 Arkansas Republican
Governor Mike Huckabee was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. He
proceeded to loose 105 pounds and made improving public health a
priority of his last 2 years in office.
(Econ, 2/17/07, p.37)
2004 Feb 2, An ivory-billed
woodpecker, thought to be extinct, was reported in the Cache River
National Wildlife Refuge of Arkansas. The last sighting of the bird
was in 1944. The sighting put a hold on the Grand Prairie Area
Demonstration Project, a $319 million irrigation project to provide
water for rice farming, which would divert water from the bird’s
(SFC, 4/29/05, p.A1)(Econ, 5/13/06, p.36)
2004 Oct 9, A bus carrying
Chicago-area tourists to a Mississippi casino crashed and overturned
on I-55 in northeastern Arkansas, killing 15 people.
(SSFC, 10/10/04, p.A6)(AP, 10/9/05)
2004 Nov 18, In Little Rock,
Ark., an estimated 30,000 guests attended the opening of the Clinton
Presidential Center, a 30-acre, $165 million glass-and-steel home of
artifacts and documents gathered during Clinton's eight years in the
(AP, 11/18/04)(Econ, 11/13/04, p.36)
2004 Dec 30, Arkansas vowed to
appeal after a judge struck down a 1999 rule barring the state from
placing a foster child in any household with a gay member.
(WSJ, 12/31/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec, Arkansas was reported
to be infected with Asian soybean rust. 9 states were believed to be
infected with spores carried over from South America by the recent
(Econ, 12/11/04, p.33)
2005 Jan 2, In El Dorada, Ark.,
firefighters evacuated hundreds of residents as they fought a blaze
in a hazardous waste warehouse.
(WSJ, 1/3/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 19, In Arkansas a
train slammed into an ambulance that apparently tried to get out of
its path, but stopped at a rail crossing, killing all three
paramedics on board. The patient in the vehicle survived.
2005 Sep 8, US grain prices
were reported down as grain elevators along the Mississippi filled
to capacity and grain handling due to Katrina fell to 63%. Early
harvests from Arkansas were particularly hit.
(WSJ, 9/8/05, p.A10)(WSJ, 9/9/05, p.A1)
2006 Jan 8, Wildfires in the
southwest US spread to Arkansas and Colorado destroying 9 more
homes. Over the last 2 weeks the fires in New Mexico, Oklahoma and
Texas have destroyed 475 homes and left 5 people dead.
(SFC, 1/9/06, p.A3)
2006 Jan 28, In southern
Arkansas police found the bodies of 3 children lying side-by-side on
a bed in their home after Paula Eleazar Mendez (43), their mother,
said she smothered them.
2006 Jan 31, In Arkansas Tom
Coughlin (57), a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman who was a
protege of founder Sam Walton, pleaded guilty to fraud and tax
charges, admitting that he stole money, gift cards and merchandise
from the world's largest retailer.
2006 Jan, In Arkansas Riceland
Rice, the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice, became aware
of genetically modified rice in its commercial bins. In July
American agricultural officials learned that unapproved rice had
been found in commercial bins in Arkansas and Missouri. The EU soon
demanded that rice be tested and certified.
(Econ, 9/16/06, p.43)
2006 Feb 4, In Arkansas Jacob
D. Robida (18) shot himself after he killed a Gassville police
officer and a woman in his car. Robida died the next day. 2 days
earlier Robida had used a hatchet and a gun to attack 3 patrons at a
gay bar in Mass.
(AP, 2/3/06)(AP, 2/5/06)(SFC, 2/8/06, p.A3)
2006 Mar 12-2006 Mar 13, Swarms
of tornadoes killed at least 10 people across the Midwest states of
Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Dakota, Minnesota and
Wisconsin. It caused so much damage in Springfield, Ill., that the
mayor compared it to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
2006 Apr 20, Arkansas
Republican Governor Mike Huckabee signed a $1.10 state minimum wage
increase into law to be effective Oct 1. The previous minimum was at
the federal standard of $5.15 per hour.
2006 Jun 29, The Arkansas
Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas cannot ban gays from becoming
foster parents, because there is no link between their sexual
orientation and a child’s well-being.
(SFC, 6/30/06, p.A20)
2006 Jul 7, The Arkansas state
board barred Dr. Randeep Mann from prescribing narcotics after
officials said 10 of his patients died from a lethal mix of drugs or
an overdose of prescription medicines.
2006 Jul 16, Win Rockefeller
(57), Lt. Gov. of Arkansas and son of former Arkansas Gov. Winthrop
Rockefeller, died of a blood disease marked by the uncontrolled
production of bone marrow cells.
2006 Dec 7, Johnnie Bryan Hunt
(79), founder of Arkansas-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services (1969),
(WSJ, 12/9/06, p.A5)
2007 Jan 9, Mike Beebe was
sworn in as the 45th Governor of the State of Arkansas.
2007 Jan 17, A US snow and ice
storm was blamed for at least 64 deaths in nine states. These
included 20 deaths in Oklahoma, 9 in Missouri, 8 in Iowa, 4 in New
York, 5 in Texas, 4 in Michigan, 3 in Arkansas, and 1 each in Maine
(AP, 1/17/07)(SFC, 1/18/07, p.A3)
2007 Feb 24, In Arkansas
tornado winds injured 40 people and damaged dozens of homes and
businesses. Much of the town of Dumas was destroyed. The Midwest
storm system was blamed for 8 traffic deaths, 7 in Wisconsin and one
(SFC, 2/26/07, p.A4)(Econ, 4/7/07, p.30)
2007 Apr 19, Helen Robson
Walton (b.1919), widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, died in
Bentonville, Ark. She had pushed for a profit-sharing plan for
employees in the Wal-Mart’s early days and demanded that the family
live in a small, rural town.
(WSJ, 4/21/07, p.A6)
2007 Apr 24, A tornado in the
Texas border town of Eagle Pass killed at least 10 people and
destroyed two schools and more than 20 homes. The storm killed 2
more people in Arkansas and Louisiana.
(AP, 4/25/07)(SFC, 4/26/07, p.A3)
2007 Aug 11, Republican Mitt
Romney (b.1947) won the first test of the 2008 White House race,
using a big wallet and broad organization to muscle aside a field of
rivals in a low-turnout Iowa straw poll. Mike Huckabee (b.1955),
former governor of Arkansas, came in second.
(Reuters, 8/11/07)(WSJ, 8/13/07, p.A5)
2007 In Arkansas six nuns were
excommunicated after refusing to give up membership in the Army of
Mary. In 1971 Marie Paule Giguere (b.1921), a Catholic nun in
Quebec, founded the Army of Mary as a prayer group, saying she was
receiving visions from God. In 2007 the Vatican declared her
teachings were heretical.
2008 Jan 7, Tornadoes were
reported or suspected in southwest Missouri, southeastern Wisconsin,
Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma. Two people were killed in Missouri.
2008 Feb 5, Storms swept across
southeast US as Super Tuesday primaries were ending. At least 31
people were killed in Tennessee, 13 in Arkansas, 7 in Kentucky and
four in Alabama. It was one of the 15 worst tornado death tolls
since 1950, and the nation's deadliest barrage of tornadoes since 76
people were killed in Pennsylvania and Ohio on May 31, 1985. The
death toll rose to 59.
(AP, 2/6/08)(AP, 2/7/08)(WSJ, 2/8/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 19, Flooding forced
hundreds of people to flee their homes and closed scores of roads
across a wide swath of the US midsection as a huge storm system
poured as much as 10 inches of rain on the region. Flooding was
reported in parts of Arkansas, southern Illinois, southern Indiana,
Missouri and Kentucky with over a dozen deaths.
(AP, 3/19/08)(AP, 3/20/08)
2008 Apr 2, Arkansas Gov. Mike
Beebe singed legislation to repeal a botched marriage law, and
reinstated 17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls.
2008 Apr 2, In Arkansas 3 men
were presumed drowned when scaffolding underneath an Arkansas River
bridge collapsed. They were working on a project to install a water
main beneath the bridge for the Central Arkansas Water utility.
2008 Apr 10, Powerful storms
brought hail, heavy rain and possible tornadoes to Arkansas, Texas,
and Oklahoma, causing flooding and power outages for thousands of
customers and at least one death.
2008 May 2, Severe storms
rolled across Arkansas and killed 8 people, including a teenager
crushed by a tree while she slept in her bed. The deaths came after
earlier storms seriously damaged homes and businesses in the Kansas
City, Mo., area.
(AP, 5/2/08)(AP, 5/3/08)
2008 Aug 13, In Little Rock,
Ark., Timothy Dale Johnson (50), described as a loner, drove more
than 30 miles to Arkansas' Democratic Party headquarters and fatally
shot its chairman, Bill Gwatney, hours after losing his job. Johnson
was later shot dead by officers.
2008 Sep 20, Arkansas State
Police troopers raided the 15-acre complex of evangelist Tony Alamo
(74), searching for evidence of child pornography. FBI Agents
arrested Alamo five days later in Flagstaff, Ariz. Alamo later
pleaded not guilty to a 10-count federal indictment.
2008 Oct 22, Sheriffs' deputies
in Crockett County, Tenn., arrested two suspects, Daniel Cowart (20)
of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman (18) of Helena-West Helena,
Ark., on unspecified charges. On Oct 27 federal authorities charged
the 2 white supremacists for allegedly plotting to go on a national
killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately
targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. On March
29, 2010, Cowart pleaded guilty to eight of 10 counts in an
indictment accusing him of conspiracy, threatening a presidential
candidate and various federal firearms violations. Co-defendant
Schlesselman pleaded guilty in January.
(AP, 10/28/08)(AP, 3/29/10)
2008 Oct 25, Anne Pressly (26),
an Arkansas KATV anchorwoman, died in Little Rock several days after
she didn't answer her wake-up call and was found brutally beaten in
her home. On Nov 26 officers arrested suspect Curtis Lavelle Vance
(28) at a home in Little Rock. Vance was convicted of murder on Nov
(AP, 10/26/08)(AP, 11/27/08)(SFC, 11/12/09, p.A6)
2008 Oct 26, At the University
of Central Arkansas in Conway a shooting left two students dead and
a third person wounded. On Oct 28 4 men were charged with capital
murder and other felonies for the shootings in Conway.
(AP, 10/27/08)(SFC, 10/29/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 4, Arkansas voters
passed a measure blocking the adoption of children by unmarried
couples. John McCain won the state by 20 points over Barack Obama.
Arkansas voters approved a state lottery by a 63% margin. In 2010 a
Circuit Court judge in Little Rock struck down the measure on
adoption, saying it infringed on a person’s right to privacy.
(SSFC, 11/9/08, p.A5)(Econ, 11/22/08, p.45)(SFC,
2008 Dec 2, In Arkansas a
federal indictment was unsealed accusing evangelist Tony Alamo (74)
of sexually abusing five girls on separate occasions beginning in
1994, including a period when he was serving a tax-evasion sentence
at a halfway house in Texarkana. Alamo was convicted on July 24 of
taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex. On Nov 13
Alamo was sentenced to 175 years in prison.
(AP, 12/3/08)(SFC, 7/25/09, p.A3)(SFC, 11/14/09,
2009 Jan 28, President Barack
Obama signed requests from Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Arkansas
Gov. Mike Beebe for federal emergency declarations as crews worked
around the clock to resurrect power lines downed by thick ice in
both states. Since the storm began building on Jan 26, the weather
has been blamed for at least six deaths in Texas, four in Arkansas,
three in Virginia, six in Missouri, two in Oklahoma, and one each in
Indiana and Ohio.
2009 Jan, Little Rock,
Arkansas, launched a $650,000 project to excavate the remains of its
neglected “Little Rock," estimated to be 300 million years old, and
restore it to a place of dignity. In 1872 huge chunks of the rock
were blasted away to make room for a railway bridge.
(WSJ, 1/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 4, Arkansas Gov. Mike
Beebe signed into law new animal-cruelty restrictions that make
aggravated cruelty to cats, dogs and horses a felony on the first
offense. According to the US Humane Society Arkansas became the 46th
state to make cruelty to animals a felony.
2009 Mar 25, Arkansas Gov. Mike
Beebe signed 2 bills creating a state lottery, making his state the
43rd plus the district of Columbia to hold such contests.
(SFC, 3/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Apr 9, In Mena, Arkansas,
a tornado struck a "direct hit" on this mountain community, killing
at least three people, injuring at least 30 others and flattening
homes and businesses.
2009 Jun 1, In Arkansas Pvt.
William Long (23) of Conway was shot and killed outside an Army-Navy
Career Center in a west Little Rock shopping center. Pvt. Quinton
Ezeagwula (18) of Jacksonville, Ark., was wounded. The next day
Muslim convert Abdulhakim Muhammad (23) of Little Rock was charged
for the shootings. On July 25, 2011, Muhammad, born as Carlos
Bledsoe, admitted to the crime in a plea deal and was sentenced to
life in prison without parole.
(AP, 6/2/09)(SFC, 7/25/11, p.A7)
2009 Dec 24, In Arkansas 2 men
shot and killed Philip wise, a Salvation Army major, in front of his
3 young children in North Little Rock.
(SFC, 12/26/09, p.A10)
2009 The Crystal Bridges Museum
for American Art, designed by Moshe Safdie, was scheduled to open in
(WSJ, 3/4/06, p.P4)
2010 Jan 24, Wal-Mart Stores of
Bentonville, Ark., said it will cut some 11,200 jobs at Sam’s Club
warehouses as it turns the task of in-store product demonstrations
to an outside marketing company, Shopper Events.
(SFC, 1/25/10, p.A5)
2010 Apr 30, In Arkansas
several tornadoes ripped through the state, killing a woman and
injuring two dozen others. Leveled homes, overturned vehicles and
uprooted trees were scattered across central Arkansas.
2010 May 20, In Arkansas 2
police officers were shot dead after pulling over a van with Ohio
plates on I-40. A short time later 2 suspects were killed in a
separate shootout in a Wal-Mart parking lot in West Memphis.
(SFC, 5/21/10, p.A4)
2010 Jun 8, Voters in 12 states
expressed their anger with Washington and special interests by
defeating a $10 million union campaign to unseat Arkansas, Sen.
Blanche Lincoln (D), who had the courage to stand up against their
special interest legislation, promoting women outsiders who have run
public companies but never held office, and supporting candidates
aligned with Tea Party values. In the California governor’s
race, Meg Whitman’s victory over state insurance commissioner Steve
Poizner places her in a faceoff against the quintessential career
politician—Jerry Brown, governor of California from 1975 to 1983,
then mayor of Oakland and now the state attorney general.
2010 Jun 11, In Arkansas flash
floods swept through a popular campground, killing at least 19
people in and around the Albert Pike Recreation Area.
(AP, 6/12/10)(AP, 6/14/10)
2010 Aug 31, In Arkansas a
medical helicopter crashed in Van Burn County killing 3 crew members
trying to reach a person injured in a traffic accident.
(SFC, 9/1/10, p.A7)
2010 Oct 27, Lisa Blount (53),
actress and Oscar-winning filmmaker, was found dead in her home in
Little Rock, Ark. Blount received a Golden Globe nomination for her
supporting turn as the best friend of Debra Winger's character in
"An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982). Her other credits included
"Prince of Darkness" (1987) and "Great Balls of Fire!" (1989).
2010 Nov 19, The opera “Billy
Blythe" opened in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was created by Bonnie
Montgomery and Britt Barber and focused on one day in the life of
teenager and later US Pres. Bill Clinton.
(Econ, 11/27/10, p.41)
2010 Dec 31, In Arkansas a
tornado killed 3 people in the hamlet of Cincinnati. A storm spawned
by the same weather left 3 people dead near Rolla, Missouri. A 4th
person, injured in Rolla, died the next day.
(SFC, 1/1/11, p.A6)(SSFC, 1/2/11, p.A11)
2011 Jan 1, In Arkansas some
3,000 red-winged blackbirds died and fell from the sky over a 1-mile
area of Beebe. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said that it
began receiving reports about the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. the
(AP, 1/2/11)(AP, 1/2/11)(SFC, 1/4/11, p.A5)
2011 Jan 6, Donald J. Tyson
(b.1930), chicken entrepreneur, died in Arkansas. He had built his
father’s chicken business into the behemoth Tyson Foods.
(SFC, 1/7/11, p.A9)
2011 Feb 9, A second powerful
blizzard in a week roared through parts of the US midsection,
bringing biting winds and dumping more than a foot of snow on areas
still digging out from last week's major storm. Up to 2 feet of snow
fell on parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.
(AP, 2/9/11)(SFC, 2/10/11, p.A5)
2011 Apr 12, Arkansas police
Officer Jonathan Schmidt was shot and killed during a traffic stop.
On July 28 Jerry Lard (38) was sentenced to death for the murder of
2011 Apr 14, Storms began late
in the day in Oklahoma, where at least 5 tornadoes touched down and
two people were killed. The system then pushed into Arkansas,
killing 7 more.
2011 Apr 16, Vicious storms and
howling winds smacked the deep South, killing at least 7 people in
Alabama including three family members whose homes were tossed into
nearby woods. Combined with earlier reported fatalities in Arkansas
and Oklahoma, the confirmed death toll over 3 days rose to 16.
2011 Apr 17, A furious storm
system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as
softballs has left at least 45 people dead on a rampage that
stretched for days as it barreled from Oklahoma to North Carolina
and Virginia. 11 people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, NC,
bringing the state's death toll to at least 18 people. Authorities
have said 7 died in Arkansas; 7 in Alabama; 2 in Oklahoma; one in
Mississippi and at least 5 in Virginia.
(AP, 4/17/11)(AP, 4/18/11)
2011 Apr 25, In Arkansas
powerful storms caused flooding and a tornado that left 10 people
(SFC, 4/27/11, p.A8)
2011 Apr 27, Dozens of
tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system wiped out neighborhoods
across a wide swath of the South, killing at least 350 people in the
deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years. Alabama had 254 deaths, 34 in
Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, 8 in Arkansas, 5 in
Virginia and one in Kentucky.
(AP, 4/28/11)(AP, 4/29/11)(AFP, 4/30/11)
2011 Apr 28, Pres. Obama
declared a major disaster in Alabama. Declarations for Mississippi
followed on Apr 29, Georgia on Apr 30, and soon followed for
Tennessee and Arkansas.
(Econ, 5/7/11, p.28)
2011 May 25, The death toll
from the May 22 tornado that savaged Joplin, Missouri, rose to 125.
A violent storm system across a wide swath of the Midwest and South
spawned tornadoes and powerful winds. 9 people were killed in
Oklahoma, 2 in Kansas and 4 in Arkansas.
2011 Aug 3, US meat giant
Cargill said it is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey
linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed one
person in California and sickened at least 76 others. The fresh and
frozen ground turkey products were produced at the company's
Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2.
2011 Oct 12, In Arkansas
Patricia Guardado (22), a college sophomore, was reported missing.
She was found dead on Oct 16 in a pond south of Little Rock.
2011 Nov 11, The Crystal
Bridges Museum of American Art, designed by architect Moshe Safdie,
opened in Bentonville, Ark., with a $1.2 billion endowment from the
Walton Family Foundation.
(Econ, 11/12/11, p.100)
2011 Dec 31, Police in Beebe,
Arkansas, said dozens of blackbirds had fallen dead, prompting
officers to ban residents from shooting fireworks. Thousands of dead
blackbirds rained down on the town in central Arkansas last New
Year's Eve after revelers set off fireworks.
2012 Mar 29, The Arkansas
Supreme Court struck down a state law banning sexual contact between
teachers and students 18 or older.
(SFC, 3/30/12, p.A6)
2012 Jun 22, The Arkansas
Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty law, faulting a
provision that allowed the Corrections Dept. to select the fatal
drugs used in an execution.
(SFC, 6/23/12, p.A4)
2012 Jul 28, In Arkansas Chavis
Carter, according to police, shot himself in the head as his hands
were cuffed in a police patrol car. An autopsy tested him positive
for methamphetamine and other drugs.
(SFC, 8/21/12, p.A3)
2012 Oct 6, Arkansas
Republicans tried to distance themselves from a Republican state
representative's assertion that slavery was a "blessing in disguise"
and a Republican state House candidate who advocates deporting all
Muslims. The claims were made in books written, respectively, by
Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and House candidate Charlie Fuqua of
2013 Feb 17, Country music
singer Mindy McCready (37) was found dead of an apparent
self-inflicted gunshot wound at her home in Heber Springs, Ark. Her
songs included “Guys Do It All the Time" (1996) and “Ten Thousand
(SFC, 2/18/13, p.A6)
2013 Mar 6, Arkansas adopted
the country’s most restrictive ban on abortion, at 12 weeks of
pregnancy. Democrat Gov. Mike Beebe called it “blatantly
(SFC, 3/7/13, p.A5)
2013 Mar 29, In Mayflower,
Arkansas, an ExxonMobil pipeline sprang a leak. Crews soon recovered
some 12,000 barrels of oil and water. The Pegasus pipeline, capable
of carrying more than 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from
Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was carrying Canadian Wabasca
Heavy crude at the time of the leak. In June the US Justice Dept.
and the state of Arkansas filed suit against ExxonMobile for the
210,000 gallons spilled.
(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A8)(Reuters, 4/1/13)(SFC,
2013 Apr 1, Arkansas
legislators passed a law requiring voters to show photo ID at the
polls, overriding Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto. In 2014 a judge struck
down the voter ID law, but the state Supreme Court stayed the
judge’s ruling pending an appeal.
(SFC, 4/2/13, p.A6)(SFC, 5/15/14, p.A6)
2013 May 17, A federal judge in
Arkansas granted a request to temporarily block enforcement of a new
state law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
(SFC, 5/18/13, p.A6)
2013 May 18, Arkansas Treasurer
Martha Shoffner was arrested in an FBI sting operation. She accused
of taking at least $36,000 from a broker who later came to manage a
large share of the state’s $3.3 billion stock and bond portfolio.
(SFC, 5/21/13, p.A5)(SFC, 5/22/13, p.A5)
2013 Aug 7, Arkansas-based
Tyson Foods Inc, declared it would no longer accept cattle that had
been fed the most popular brand of the feed additive, called Zilmax,
a powerful and fast-selling product from pharmaceutical company
Merck & Co.
2013 Nov 25, A federal judge in
Arkansas approved a settlement that pays $84.9 million to 5,500
trucking companies that were cheated out of promised rebates by
Pilot Flying J, the nation's largest diesel retailer.
2013 Dec 21, At least two
people were killed as wild storms and suspected tornadoes tore
through parts of Mississippi and Arkansas.
2014 Jan 10, Arkansas Gov. Mark
Darr said he will leave office Feb 1. He was under pressure to
resign over ethics violations including making personal use of over
$30,000 of his campaign funds.
(SSFC, 1/12/14, p.A10)
2014 Apr 27, A broad tornado
killed at least 15 when it sliced through Arkansas at the start of
the US tornado season. Two more people were killed died in Iowa and
(Reuters, 4/28/14)(Reuters, 4/29/14)
2014 May 3, In Arkansas a
gunman shot six people killing a man and a teenager in Jonesboro.
The gunman was later found dead of a gunshot wound in the driver’s
seat of a stopped car.
(SSFC, 5/4/14, p.A13)
2014 May 9, A US judge struck
down Arkansas’s 2004 amendment defining marriage as between a man
and a woman as unconstitutional. On May 15 Judge Chris Piazza
extended his ruling to include all state laws preventing gay couples
from marrying. On May 16 the state Supreme Court granted a request
to suspend Piazza’s decisions.
(SFC, 5/10/14, p.A10)(SFC, 5/17/14, p.A5)
2014 Aug 17, In Arkansas two
Union Pacific freight trains collided in Hoxie killing 2 crew
(SFC, 8/18/14, p.A4)
2014 Sep 24, Arkansas-based
Walmart introduced a service to be operated by Green Dot Corp. It
will be called GoBank and provide low cost mobile checking accounts
linked to a debit card.
(SFC, 9/25/14, p.C4)
2014 Sep 30, In Arkansas Arron
Michael Lewis, accused of killing a real estate agent, pleaded not
guilty hours after the woman’s body was discovered in a shallow
(SFC, 10/1/14, p.A10)
2014 Oct 15, The Arkansas
Supreme Court struck down the state’s voter identification law
saying it would set a new requirement for voting beyond those listed
in the state’s constitution.
(SFC, 10/17/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 4, Arkansas approved
an increse in the minimum wage from $6.25 and hour to $8.50 an hour.
(SFC, 11/5/14, p.A10)
2014 Nov 25, A US federal judge
struck down an Arkansas voter-approved gay marriage ban, but put the
order on hold to allow the state to consider and appeal.
(SFC, 11/26/14, p.A6)
2015 Apr 2, The US states of
Arkansas and Indiana passed amended versions of religious freedom
laws following a nationwide outcry that the original legislation
effectively legalized discrimination against homosexuals.
2015 Apr 22, The US Justice
Dept. said Exxon Mobil Corp has agreed to pay $5.07 million to
resolve allegations it violated the federal Clean Water Act and
state environmental laws in connection with a March 29, 2013, oil
spill in Arkansas.
2015 May 11, The governors of
Arkansas and Texas declared disasters in parts of their states
following tornadoes and flooding that left at least 5 people dead.
2015 Nov 5, In Arkansas a
charter bus ran off Interstate 40 and collided with a bridge,
resulting in six dead and others injured. The bus was ferrying
migrant farmworkers from Michigan to Texas as it ran off a highway
and hit an overpass.