Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Series: The 50 States - Arkansas


Situated in the southern U.S. and surrounded by five other states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri), Arkansas was part of the great Louisiana Purchase of 1803.  It was part of the Missouri Territory from 1812 to 1819 and was organized as its own territory in 1819.  On June 15, 1836, Arkansas entered the union as a state.  Here is the state flag:

Diamond in the rough
The flag's design was the winning entry in a contest in 1913.  The diamond shapes represent the diamond gemstone, which is the state mineral, because Arkansas is home to the only diamond mine in the United States.  The 25 white stars stand for the fact that this was the 25th state.  The 3 blue stars under the word "Arkansas" signify the countries of Spain, France, and the United States, all of which have ruled the land that is now Arkansas at some point in its history.  The large blue star standing by itself honors the history of the Confederacy in this southern state.

There were over 770 military actions, including battles and skirmishes, in Arkansas during the Civil War.  They joined the Confederacy in 1861 and, in 1863, northern Arkansas was occupied by Union forces.  Many of these historical sites can be visited if you are planning a trip here.  The six distinct regions of Arkansas each has its own tourist attractions and interesting sites.

The Ozarks are home to the Arkansas Air and Military Museum and Blanchard Springs Cavern.  Eureka Springs is also present and is set up like an old Victorian Village.  The Wal-Mart Visitors' Center is located in the Ozarks.  This is where Sam Walton opened the doors to his first discount store.  There were only 25 employees.  Today, there are more than 1.3 million employees working for Wal-Mart, and they produce more than $220 billion in annual sales.

The Ouachitas boasts Crater of Diamonds State Park.  This is where diamonds were first discovered by John Huddleston in 1906.  Since that time, there have been more than 70,000 diamonds found at this site.  It is now a tourist destination where you can, for a small fee, dig for diamonds and keep all that you find.

Central Arkansas is home to the state capitol.  When traveling to the Arkansas River Valley, you can jump aboard the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad.  Take a 134-mile-long journey across three high trestles and stop for lunch in a town along the route before returning in your turn-of-the-century cars.

The Louisiana Purchase is brought to life in the Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park.  I never knew there was such a place.  I'm sure it is full of wonderful history. The Timberlands is the sixth region and is home to El Dorado, a town which arose due to necessity in the 1920s and 1930s because of the oil boom.  Petroleum is one of the top minerals found in Arkansas even to this day.  El Dorado is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Another state park here is Historic Washington State Park.  It has a 19th century village complete with pre-Civil war homes, a weapons and print-shop museum, the recreation of a blacksmith's shop, and a restored courthouse.

There are many, many more interesting sites.  These were just a few I chose to highlight.  

The Arkansas state motto is "The People Rule," and the nickname is "The Natural State" due to its natural beauty including lakes, streams, and wildlife.  The flower is the apple blossom, and the tree is the pine tree.  The mockingbird is the state bird, and the honeybee is the state insect.

The capital of Arkansas is Little Rock.  Find out how Little Rock got its name by visiting  The postal abbreviation for Arkansas is AR.

Arkansas is the 29th biggest state (or 27th, it depends on who you ask), and is the 33rd most populous state.  People who live there are called Arkansans.  Some famous Arkansans are:

Maya Angelou, a writer
Glen Campbell, a singer
Johnny Cash, a singer
Bill Clinton, former president
John Grisham, a writer
Scott Joplin, a musician (Father of Ragtime)
Douglas MacArthur, a general
Scottie Pippin, an NBA player
Mary Steenburgen, an actress
Billy Bob Thornton, an actor
Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart

For a crossword puzzle about Arkansas, click here.

Some resources from for Arkansas:

22732DF: Arkansas State History In a Nutshell - PDF Download [Download] Arkansas State History In a Nutshell - PDF Download [Download]
By Cyndi Kinney & Judy Trout / Knowledge Box Central

Get to know your home state! Comprehensive state history lapbook resources from Knowledge Box Central are designed so that children of all ages can study together. Explore state symbols, songs and landmarks, famous people, geographical regions, timelines of historical events, and more. The included state-specific study guide provides background information, history, and other factual information; this study guide is the same for both lapbook (Grades K-8) and lapbook journal (Grades 6-12) students, so that the parent only needs to go over the information once.
This lapbook includes a list of all the supplies needed if following the included base guide. Blackline masters are provided for students to cut out and paste into their lapbook, while a photo of a finished lapbook provides a visual example. This Lapbook is structured for use with K-8th Grade Students.

067234: The Positively Arkansas Puzzle Book The Positively Arkansas Puzzle Book
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

498797: Arkansas My First Book, Grades K-5 Arkansas My First Book, Grades K-5
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

An "early bird" intro to basic state facts. Covers state basics such as state nickname, seal, song, bird, motto, flag, regions, industries, neighbors, and weather, plus an intro to state history, people and more. Includes: drawing, mazes, matching, coloring, and more! Reproducible. Available for all 50 states. Grades K-5; ages 5-10.

499661: Let"s Discover Arkansas! CD-ROM, Grades 2-8 Let's Discover Arkansas! CD-ROM, Grades 2-8
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

Interactive CD-ROM with lots of fun facts for kids to learn about their state. Includes: government, state symbols, a timeline, geography, civics, nickname, landmarks, parks, schools, historical places, and more. Each of four sections is completed with a quizzing game and rewards. Also includes a FREE printed reproducible quiz. Grades 2-8

92260: Way Back in the Ozarks Way Back in the Ozarks
By Howard Hefley / Hannibal Books

Way back in the Ozark Mountain lies Newton County, Arkansas, where you'll still hear stories of a boy who roamed the hills and hollers fifty years ago. A boy they called "Ozark Monk." The world he grew up in is fading away. Gone is the one-room school. Gone is the daddy who was a champion coon hunter. Gone is the momma who loved him. Feel the splash of cold creek water and catch the scent of virgin forests as you meander through this timeless tale of a boy and his animals. Journey along with Monk and his critters; their antics and mishaps will keep you laughing, and sometimes crying, until you turn the last page.

502123: What a Deal! The Louisiana Purchase What a Deal! The Louisiana Purchase
By Gallopade International

Inquire within to learn about the biggest bargain in American history. A deal too good to be true - only it was! The story of the amazing Louisiana Purchase is filled with history, mystery, legend, lore, and so much more! Softcover, 32 pages. Gallopade International.


  1. I love this series you're doing. It's a great way to learn a few snippets about each state. Thanks for doing it!

    1. Thank you, Marcy. I am enjoying doing it. It makes it worthwhile to know that so many people are finding it enjoyable.

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