Arkansas, The Natural State

Arkansas, The Natural State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Arkansas is known as The Natural State. With five national parks and three national forest, the area is famous for natural scenic beauty with many clear lakes and streams.

Arkansas’s early history

Arkansas is part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1819, it became a separate territory.

Arkansas becomes a state

little-rock-1439884_960_720Arkansas became a state on June 15, 1836. The capital is Little Rock.

Confederate States of America

Arkansas was a slave state and seceded from the union to join the Confederate States of America at the time of the Civil War.

A mispronunciation?

Early French explorers called the Quapaw people by the name “Arkansas.” The Illinois, another local community, referred to the Quapaw as Akansea, so the French probably mispronounced the word.

Legislation passed in 1881 declared the correct way to say the state’s name is “AR-kan-SAW.”

Little Rock’s Central High School

The Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools in Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka. The Arkansas National Guard prevented nine African American students from entering Little Rock’s Central High School. President Eisenhower ordered a federal troop to escort the students to school weeks later on September 25, 1957.

Daisy Gatson Bates’s efforts to desegregate Central High School are honored by Arkansans on the third Monday of February.

First National River

The Buffalo National River is our country’s first National River. The stream runs through the heart of the Ozarks.

Hot Springs National Park

Congress set aside the territory that came to be known as Hot Springs National Park as a U.S. government reservation in 1832.

The hot springs have provided therapeutic baths for centuries. Arizona began as part of New Mexico.

arkansas-981813_960_720Other fun facts about Arkansas

The state folk dance is square dance.

The state musical instrument is the fiddle.

Over 500 tree species make up the 1.2 million acres of the Ozark National Forest.




“Arkansas,”, 2016/06/08

“Arkansas,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/08

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About the 50 States, Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.



  1. DevoKids post – Arkansas, the Natural State | Sandra Merville Hart - […] you name the first national river in the United States? Folks living in Arkansas may be able to answer. Find…

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