Arkansas History

Black lawmakers are holding off on saying whether they support an effort this year to end Arkansas' practice of honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday tabled a vote on ending the dual holiday. Gov. Asa Hutchinson is considering putting the proposal on the agenda for a special session later this spring. Members of the caucus said they want to see the proposed legislation in writing before taking a stance.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Birmingham Police Department

The Pulaski County Quorum Court has passed a resolution to support proposed legislation that would end the state's practice of commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.

The court voted 13-0 Tuesday to support ending the practice in Arkansas - one of three states to jointly celebrate the black civil rights leader and the white Confederate general on the third Monday in January.

Rosanne Cash Johnny Cash
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash took part in a fundraiser Thursday evening at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion in Little Rock to benefit the ongoing restoration of her father Johnny Cash's boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson invited her to hold the event there, calling the Cash house, which has been turned into a museum, "a great asset for the state." Arkansas State University bought the dilapidated home in 2011, carefully restoring it to how it looked when Johnny Cash lived there with his parents and siblings.

Daisy Bates Home
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Monday is Daisy Gatson Bates Day, an Arkansas state holiday. It is celebrated concurrently with Presidents Day, when government buildings are closed in observance. The holiday comes as a foundation attempting to completely restore the civil rights leader's former home continues to look for ways to raise more money and promote her life's work.

 

Rosanne Cash Johnny Cash
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash is headlining a performance at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion to raise money for her father's restored boyhood home.

Arkansas State University announced Thursday it's hosting the event with Gov. Asa Hutchinson and First Lady Susan Hutchinson on March 3, with proceeds going to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Many gathered for events throughout Little Rock celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day, from the annual "marade" organized by the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP, to a day of service at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

While Arkansas also marked Robert E. Lee Day Monday, few events around the state honored the Confederate Civil War general. Supporters, including the state chapter of the Sons of the Confederacy, say they will celebrate Lee's actual Jan. 19 birthday Tuesday.

Hot Springs will soon have a new Civil War museum that will focus on the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the 1861-1865 American conflict.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (bit.ly/1n4xqgu) that The Civil War Museum West is expected to open later this year and will feature a collection of artifacts, flags, photos and other items.

The museum will offer tours through 10 areas of various subjects about the war. Visitors will see collections of swords, guns, bullets, flags, and various other artifacts and Civil War relics.

Fort Smith attorney Brad Jesson, who served as Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court and was one of the early political supporters of an unknown Dale Bumpers, has passed away. He was 83, and would have been 84 on Jan. 26.

David Pryor Skip Rutherford
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

In advance of Sunday's memorial service for former U.S. Senator and Arkansas Governor Dale Bumpers, his longtime colleague in the Senate shared a few stories about Bumpers during a Legacies & Lunch program, hosted by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Wednesday at the Central Arkansas Library System's Ron Robinson Theater. The event had been scheduled before Bumpers' death and included Pryor also reflecting on his own political career.

Interior of the Arkansas State Capitol Building in December.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Capitol building will once again be open on weekends following an inquiry from the governor’s office to the secretary of state. The announcement from Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office on Wednesday is a reversal of a policy announced in December.

In a news release the office made no mention of the security concerns originally cited for limited hours but a talk with the governor’s office was mentioned.

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