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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.
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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.
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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, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and one territory – a proto-state called Florida – defaulted.
Links: USA, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
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 Under pressure from congressman J.Q. Adams, Congress repealed the bill that authorized the Smithson bequest in state bonds and ordered the US Treasury to take over interest payments.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 accumulation.
Links: USA, Florida, Arkansas, Bankruptcy, AdamsJQ, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
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.
Links: USA, Utah, Arkansas, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1864 Jan 8
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.
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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 years old.
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1874
Arkansas passed a constitution that included a ban on gambling. In 2008 Arkansas voters approved a state lottery by a 63% margin.
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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.
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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.”
Links: USA, Black History, Arkansas, Mad Crowd     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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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 "Louisiana 1927."
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1933
The state of Arkansas defaulted on its debt.
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1936 Apr 22
Glen Campbell, American country music singer (By the Time I get to Phoenix, Galveston), was born in Arkansas.
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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 of Arkansas.
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1948 Feb 14
Winthrop Rockefeller (1912-1973), later governor of Arkansas (1967-1971), married Barbara Sears (1916-2008), the Pennsylvania-born daughter of Lithuanian immigrants. They had one child, Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, but the marriage dissolved in a high-profile divorce in 1954. Barbara Bobo Rockefeller, born as Jievute Paulekiute in Noblestown, Pa., was featured as Miss Lithuania at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. She later was known as Eva Paul.
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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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.”
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1968 May 15
A tornado at Jonesboro, Arkansas, killed 34 people. Another near Anchorage, Alaska, killed one person.
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1968 Nov 12
The US Supreme Court in Epperson v. Arkansas voided an Arkansas law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools.
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1969
Henry L. Beach of Oregon, a retired dry cleaner and one-time member of the Silver Shirts, a Nazi-inspired organization that was established in the US, founded his anti-tax Posse Comitatus movement. The Posse Comitatus received widespread media attention in 1983 when a former member of the group, Gordon Kahl, was involved in a violent standoff with law enforcement officers in North Dakota and Arkansas.
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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.
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1971 Aug 28
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 and in Arkansas six nuns were excommunicated after refusing to give up membership in the sect.
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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.
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1975 Oct 11
Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in Fayetteville, Ark.
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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.
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1978 Apr 25
William Clinton (31), attorney general of Arkansas and candidate for governor, sexually assaulted Juanita Broaddrick at the Camelot Inn in Little Rock. Broaddrick made the story public on national TV in 1999.
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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.
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1980 Feb 27
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (1993-2001), was born in Little Rock.
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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.”
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1980 Nov 4
Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton lost his re-election bid for the governor’s office to Frank White (1933-2003).
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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 Contras.
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1982 Jan 5
A Federal judge voided an Arkansas state law requiring balanced classroom treatment of evolution and creationism.
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1982
In Arkansas former Gov. Bill Clinton won his election bid for the governor’s office with the help of political consultant Dick Morris.
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1983
Gov. Clinton of Arkansas had an intimate sexual encounter by mutual consent with Mrs. Elizabeth Ward Gracen, a 1982 Miss America.
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1985
Wayne Dumond, while waiting trial for rape, was castrated with fishing line by 2 men in stocking masks. He had been sentenced to a prison term for the rape and kidnap of a 17-year old girl. While in prison St. Francis County Sheriff, Coolidge Conlee, removed Dumond's testicles from his home and preserved them in formaldehyde and displayed them on his desk. Later DNA evidence showed that Dumond’s semen did not match that found on the victim’s pants and Governor Huckabee of Arkansas said he should be freed.
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1986
Harry Denton, banker from Arkansas, warned Mrs. Clinton in a telephone conversation that there could be a problem with a $370,000 loan from the Madison S&L destined for the Castle Grande real estate deal.
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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.
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1986
Don Lasater, a Little Rock, Arkansas, bond dealer and supporter of then Gov. Clinton, was arrested for cocaine distribution after a probe that also netted Roger Clinton, the brother of Bill Clinton.
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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.
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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.
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1990 May 23
Clinton’s campaign for a 5th term as governor of Arkansas received a $60,000 loan from the Perry County Bank. More cash was requested a few days later.
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1990 Oct 29
Clinton’s campaign for governor of Arkansas received a $75,000 loan from the Perry County Bank. A few days later another cash withdrawal was made for $22,500.
Links: USA, Arkansas, ClintonB, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1990
In Arkansas Heidi and Scott Riddle established the nonprofit Riddle Elephant Breeding Farm and Wild Life Sanctuary on 330 acres near Guy.
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1991 May 8
At the Third Annual Governor’s Quality Management Conference at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock, Ark., Gov. Bill Clinton invited Paula Jones, a state employee working at the registration desk, to a private meeting and exposed his desire for her. Days later Paula Jones filed a complaint of sexual harassment in US District Court in Little Rock. She has been seeking $700,000 in damages.
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1991 Oct 3
Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
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1992 Jan 19
Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton drew fire from fellow Democratic presidential candidates during a debate in Manchester, N.H.
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1992 Jan 24
The state of Arkansas executed convicted cop-killer Rickey Ray Rector after Gov. Bill Clinton refused to intervene.
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1992 Mar 14
The Associated Press obtained the names of 22 of 24 of the worst offenders in the check overdraft scandal at the House bank; topping the list were former Rep. Tommy Robinson of Arkansas and Rep. Bob Mrazek of New York, both Democrats.
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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."
Links: USA, Arkansas, Biography, Retail     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 May 2
Former US House Ways and Means Chairman Wilbur D. Mills died in Searcy, Ark., at age 82.
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1992 May 26
President Bush and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton won primaries in Kentucky, Arkansas and Idaho.
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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.
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1992 Nov 14
As preparations for the presidential transition continued, President-elect Clinton told reporters in Little Rock, Ark., that a compromise on a line-item veto proposed by House Speaker Thomas Foley could prove acceptable.
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1992 Nov 15
President-elect Clinton and his wife, Hillary, hosted a dinner in Little Rock, Ark., for Democratic congressional leaders in the first such meeting since the presidential election.
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1992 Nov 16
President-elect Clinton and Democratic congressional leaders held a news conference in Little Rock, Ark., in which they pledged a "new era" of action.
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1992 Nov 22
President-elect Bill Clinton met in Little Rock, Ark., with sometime-critic Jesse Jackson, who praised the future chief executive as a leader who could "make the nation whole."
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1992 Dec 14
President-elect Clinton opened a two-day conference in Little Rock, Ark., on the nation's economic problems.
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