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On January 11th, National Arkansas Day recognizes the Natural State and the 25th state to join the union.

Populated by Osage, Caddo, Quapaw tribes when French and Spanish explorers arrived in the area, Arkansas teems with streams, lakes, and rivers.  Its eastern border is the Mississippi River. Little Rock may be its capital, but Arkansas is also known for big rocks and lots of rocks and minerals. It’s the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World, has the only diamond mine in the U.S., and the Magnet Cove region contains 102 varieties of minerals.

Arkansas earns the name “Natural State” with over half the state is forested and more than 1 million acres in Ozark National Forest.  But that’s not all that contributes to the apt nickname.

Hot Springs National Park became America’s first national preserve in what later became the National Park System. When Arkansas was still a territory, officials recognized the unique qualities of the hot springs and requested the area be set aside and protected. President Andrew Jackson signed legislation on April 20, 1832, designating four sections of land which included the hot springs and adjacent mountains “…reserved for the future disposal of the United States (which) shall not be entered, located, or appropriated, for any other purpose whatsoever.”

What’s in a Name

When Arkansas first became a state in 1836, how to pronounce the name of the 25th state was up for debate. Was it Arkan-saw or Ar-kansas? The issue was settled in 1881 when the State General Assembly passed Concurrent Resolution No.4. It stated the state’s name would be pronounced Arkan-saw and spelled Arkansas.

Many who have called Arkansas home have left marks on our hearts and minds. From the legendary Johnny Cash and talented composers, Scott Joplin, and Roberta Martin, to authors Ernest Hemmingway and Maya Angelou and many more found a home at some time in Arkansas.

Nestled along the Mississippi River, Arkansas swells with delta, Civil War era, the blues and jazz, and Western migration history.  The worst maritime disaster in United States history occurred on the Mississippi River just north of Marion, Arkansas. Greater than the Titanic disaster, the Sultana steamboat exploded on April 27, 1865, just weeks after the end of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln. Over 1,800 souls perished.

Official Arkansas

  • State Capital – Little Rock
  • State Nickname – The Natural State
  • State Motto – The People Rule
  • State Bird – Mockingbird
  • State Amphibian –
  • State Dinosaur – Arkansas fridays
  • State Butterfly – Diana Fritillary Butterfly
  • State Flower – Apple Blossom
  • State Animal – White tailed Deer
  • State Folk Dance – Square Dance
  • State Nut – Pecan
  • State Drink – Milk
  • State Tree – Flowering Dogwood
  • State Gemstone – Diamond
  • State Insect – Honeybee

Art and History

For a complete list of Arkansas State and National Parks & Historic Sites visit and Check out a few of the featured sites around the state below.

Buffalo – Harrison and St. Joe

Hot Springs

Pea Ridge

Crater of Diamonds State Park – Murfreesboro

Lake Frierson State Park – Jonesboro

Louisiana Purchase State Park – Brinkley

Mark’s Mills Battleground State Park – Fordyce

Mammoth Spring State Park – Mammoth Spring

Mount Nebo State Park – Dardanelle

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park – Scott


Sultana Disaster Museum – Marion

Historic Arkansas Museum – Little Rock

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Bentonville

Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum – Pulaski County

Museum of Native American History – Bentonville

Delta Cultural Center – Helena

Gangster Museum of America – Hot Springs

Arkansas Air & Military Museum – Fayetteville

Delta Gateway Museum – Blytheville

Japanese American Internment Museum – McGehee

Hidden Treasures

Esse Purse Museum – Little Rock

Quigley’s Castle – Eureka Springs

Chaffee Barbershop Museum – Fort Smith

Tripoints – Arkansas/Missouri/Oklahoma

Explore More…

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalArkansasDay

Enjoy Arkansas’ natural beauty and fascinating history. Uncover hidden treasures and soak up all of Arkansas’ impressive views! Use #NationalArkansasDay to share on social media.

Notable People

John Hanks Alexander – United States Military – (January 6, 1864 – March 26, 1894)

John Hanks Alexander

Douglas MacArthur – Military Leader – (January 26, 1880 – April 5, 1964)

Louise Thaden – Pilot – (November 12, 1905 – November 9, 1979)

Bear Bryant – Coach – (September 11, 1913 – January 26, 1983)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Singer – (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973)

John Harold Johnson – Publisher – (January 19, 1918 – August 8, 2005)

Maurice Britt – Military Serviceman – (June 29, 1919 – November 26, 1995)

Maurice Britt - Military Serviceman

Samuel Kountz – Surgeon – (October 30, 1930 – December 30 1981)

Samuel Kountz - Surgeon

Johnny Cash – Singer/Songwriter – (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)

Joycelyn Elders – Physician – (August 13, 1933 – )

Bill Clinton – President – (August 19, 1946 -)

Arkansas Flavor

Fried Catfish
Fried Chicken
Chicken Fried Steak
Fried Okra
Deviled eggs
Baked Beans
Beans and Cornbread
Fried Pickles
Chocolate Gravy
Sawmill Gravy

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