Arkansas History

Looking down the left field line of Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

As can be expected with a baseball team in existence since 1901, the Arkansas Travelers hold a fair share of firsts and claims to fan loyalty. On Wednesday, Travelers’ marketing director Lance Restum walked those at those at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies’ Legacies and Lunch talk through the history of one of the oldest still-running minor league baseball teams.

He said the Travelers have an outsized presence compared to other minor league teams because it’s been a constant in a state where other professional sports have come and gone.

Fort Smith Southside High School's mascot Johnny Reb.
fortsmithschools.org

The head of the Fort Smith School Board says the decision of two members to abandon an effort to bring back the Rebel mascot means the district can move on from the divisive issue and she can too. Board President Dr. Deanie Mehl told Talk Business & Politics she'll step down at the end of 2017 after 12 years on the school board.

The U.S. Senate has approved a bill to name the post office in Perryville after an Arkansas native who was killed while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

The post office would be named the Harold George Bennett Post Office under the proposal by U.S. Rep. French Hill and Sen. John Boozman.

The proposal now goes to the president for his signature.

Bennett was a native of the Thornburg community about 7 miles south of Perryville and was the first American prisoner of war killed in Vietnam when he was executed on June 25, 1965, after three escape attempts.

The Newport City Council has decided to not apply for a grant that could have turned the Blue Bridge into a pedestrian crossing.

Newport Mayor David Stewart tells Jonesboro television station KAIT that the city council decided Monday to not apply for the grant that could have transformed the historic bridge into a walking and recreational trail. The city applied for the same grant last year but didn't receive it.

Work is now underway to replace the 86-year-old Blue Bridge. The $31 million project is expected to be complete next year.

rohwer
astate.edu

A $2.8 million grant from the National Park Service will support projects planned at camps where Japanese-Americans were held during World War II.

The projects include the Rohwer and the Jerome relocation centers in southeastern Arkansas.

Goodwin Field Terminal
Preserve Arkansas

Preserve Arkansas has released its annual list of the most endangered places in Arkansas. Released Thursday, the list identifies seven locations that the group says faces threats that include deterioration, neglect, insufficient funds and inappropriate development.

The seven are:

Goodwin Field airport terminal in El Dorado

The National Guard Armory in Clarksville 

Union Chapel Community Center in Springfield

Sweet Home Chapel near Mount Ida

The Slack/Comstock/Marshall House in Uniontown

The Warren & Ouachita Depot in Warren 

The online Encyclopedia of Arkansas celebrated its 10th anniversary this weekend. The project was launched in 2006 by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Central Arkansas Library System. It currently features about 4,400 entries and almost 6,000 pieces of media.

At a reception Friday at the Butler Center, the crowd resembled the encyclopedia itself: a varied range of vital forces contained in one spot. 

Parkin Archeological State Park
arkansasstateparks.com

This week, archeologists will likely learn more about a wooden post thought to possibly originate from the first Christian ceremony held in Arkansas. The finding could be a cross erected at the site of a Native American village by an expedition led by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.

Former U.S. Congressman Ray Thornton.
Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Former U.S. congressman, Arkansas Supreme Court justice and university president Raymond "Ray" Thornton died early Wednesday, his former chief of staff says. He was 87. Thornton was in hospice care for lung cancer in Pulaski County.

The Conway native graduated from Yale University in 1950 and a few years later served in the Navy during the Korean War. Thornton then earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Arkansas Times

A renowned traveling exhibit of art and artifacts showing the role of African Americans throughout history is now on display at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in downtown Little Rock.

Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have been amassing primary source documents, artifacts and fine art for more than 30 years. Although they live in Los Angeles, since 2007 their collection has toured the nation. It’s been visited by more than 5 million people. This is the first time it has been shown in Arkansas.  

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