Arkansas History

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

It took workers using two excavators a little less than an hour to bring down the old Cinema 150 movie theater in Little Rock. The dome-shaped building at the corner of University and Asher Avenues ran many of the top films of its day.

Built in the late 1960s with a screen that curved at a 150 degree angle, it gave movies a big impact.  The theater was closed in 2003, considered functionally obsolete for having just one screen in an era of multiplexes. But it still had a very special place in the hearts of many who saw films there.

Three coins commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service will go on sale next month.

The Marshals Service says the coins, including a gold $5 coin, a silver dollar coin and a copper-nickel clad half dollar coin, will be available for purchase in limited quantities beginning Jan. 29. The designs for the coins were unveiled in July.

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

Officials say the latest cleanup plan for the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs calls for debris removal to start next month.

A large fire ripped through the historic hotel in February, prompting the city to raze part of the complex and condemn the rest. Rubble has piled along Park Avenue since the blaze.

The owner of the property, Park Residences Development LLC, sent a letter last week to the state's environmental quality department about its cleanup plan.

The people working to build a museum dedicated to U.S. Marshals are working with the Army Corps of Engineers on officially securing land on which the building will be constructed on.

Museum president and CEO Jim Dunn says the Robert Westphal family is ready to donate land along the Arkansas River to the museum. But an easement issue with the Army Corps of Engineers has to be resolved first.

Dunn says the Corps' easement was established when it was building the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

U.S. Marshals Museum
www.usmarshalsmuseum.com

Formal groundbreaking has been held in Fort Smith for a U.S. Marshals Museum on the banks of the Arkansas River overlooking Oklahoma.

Federal, state, tribal and local officials that included U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman; Rep. Steve Womack; Gov. Mike Beebe; Principal Chief George Tiger and marshals services officials were among the estimated crowd of 1,000 that turned out for Wednesday's ceremony.

The groundbreaking took place on the 225th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Oliver Stone
oliverstone.com

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone is visiting Little Rock Saturday as part of this year’s Reel Civil Rights Film Festival. Stone will participate in a moderated discussion following the screening of an episode of his 2012 television documentary series, "The Untold History of the United States."

Part of the 60-minute episode explores the decision of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to enforce the 1957 integration of Central High.

vietvet.org

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies is launching the Arkansas Vietnam War Project, with the hopes of documenting the stories of people who were in the war, or knew someone who was. The Center hopes to record oral histories as well as collect letters, photographs and diary entries from willing participants.

Brian Robertson is manager of the Research Services Division at the Butler Center and is leading the project. He says at the time of U.S. involvement, Arkansans largely supported the war effort.

The Arkansas Archaeological Society has received a $63,000 grant to document and return human remains and cultural objects to their native people.

The grant announced Wednesday was among $1.5 million awarded nationwide by the National Park Service under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The grants were awarded to museums, Indian tribes and Alaska native villages.

City of North Little Rock Facebook page

The city of North Little Rock will be allowing the public to tour its city hall in an open house on Sunday. It marks the 100th anniversary since the placement of the building’s cornerstone on July 27th, 1914. North Little Rock City Clerk and Collector Diane Whitbey says people will be able to go through rooms and mingle with Mayor Joe Smith and other council members.

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has approved two new historical markers in Benton and Phillips counties.

The two markers announced Wednesday will be placed in Rogers and Helena-West Helena. The first will be placed at Hobbs State Park and will commemorate Peter Van Winkle's Mill, which was destroyed in the war.

The commission also approved a historical marker to commemorate the Lick Creek Skirmish in east Arkansas. That marker will be placed within Delta Heritage Trail State Park in Helena-West Helena.

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