Arkansas History

Wilbur D. Mills

Wilbur D. Mills began his political career as White County Judge at the height of the Great Depression. The Democrat was later elected to Congress, representing Arkansas’s Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Susan Hutchinton Dale Charles Daisy Bates House Little Rock Nine
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The foundation that oversees the house where the Little Rock Nine coordinated efforts to integrate Central High School in the 1950s is launching a fundraising campaign. For $100 each, people can have their names and messages placed on 4x8 inch bricks that will make up a sidewalk leading to the home.

It will enable further renovations of the modest home at 1207 West 28th Street where L.C. and Daisy Bates lived during the time Mrs. Bates led efforts to allow the nine African-Americans to attend the formerly all-white school.

Jacob Trieber
Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

The U.S. Senate has approved legislation co-sponsored by Republican Arkansas Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton to name the federal building in Helena-West Helena after federal Judge Jacob Trieber.

Trieber was appointed by President William McKinley and served from 1900 to 1927 as the federal judge for the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He was the first Jewish federal judge and also served on the Helena City Council and as Phillips County treasurer.

Dustin McDaniel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The city of Osceola has retained former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to look into the actions of Mississippi County over the city possibly losing its historic courthouse.

County Judge Randy Carney and several quorum court members are leading an effort to consolidate the county's two courthouses, located in Blytheville and Osceola, into one larger courthouse in Blytheville. The county has purchased land intended for a new courthouse, and has hired an architectural firm to begin drafting plans.

Fort Smith Southside High School's mascot Johnny Reb.

UPDATE: The school board in Fort Smith voted unanimously on Monday night to end or phase out the use of Confederate-linked themes at Southside High School. Around 200 people attended the meeting to lend input to the decision.

The Confederate soldiers monument has a soldier holding a Confederate battle flag.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

In recent weeks, the battle over Confederate imagery has focused mainly on a flag, but for some the debate naturally extends to other symbols they see as offensive. As Arkansas, like many Southern states, continues to grapple with emblems of its past, the question arises: To what extent are monuments in public places an issue?

Majestic Hotel
Save Her Majesty: Restore The Majestic Hotel Facebook Page

  The Missouri owner of an historic Arkansas hotel has agreed to the Hot Springs City Board's $680,000 offer to purchase the property.

The Board voted Tuesday night to accept Majestic Hotel owner Gary Hassenflu's caveat that the city's offer be amended to reflect the assessed value of the property- $2.03 million - and to label the $1.35 million difference as a donation to the city.

The oldest of the hotel property's three buildings burned down in February 2014. City officials said its priority after the purchase becomes final will be cleaning up the fire debris.

Robinson Auditorium
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

On the one year anniversary of Little Rock’s historic Robinson Auditorium closing to begin a nearly $70 million renovation, a topping out ceremony was held Wednesday. The final steel beam that will be put in place on the expanded structure was signed by local officials, members of the design and construction teams and other guests. Work is scheduled to be completed by November 2016.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is defending a star on the Arkansas Flag representing the state's role in the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Calls to remove official confederate symbolism in southern states have grown louder after a white supremacist who regularly displayed the flag killed nine members of an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) on the state Capitol steps.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Asa Hutchinson briefly chimed in on the subject of Confederate iconography in the hours preceding the governor of South Carolina’s call on Monday for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from its statehouse grounds.

Hutchinson said the flag does not have a place in contemporary politics but did not say it should be removed from South Carolina’s statehouse either.