Arkansas History

baxtercountyhistory.org

The oldest public building in Arkansas will soon have a new owner.

The Baxter County Quorum Court voted this week to transfer ownership of the Jacob Wolf House in Norfork to the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The Wolf House, which was built as a courthouse in 1829, overlooks the intersection of the White and North Fork rivers.

The wooden structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Command And Control
PBS

Screenings are planned around the state this coming weekend for the new documentary thriller Command & Control. It looks at the September 1980 accident at a Titan II Missile silo involving a nuclear weapon in the north Arkansas town of Damascus.

A worker doing routine maintenance on the missile dropped a socket from a wrench which fell, puncturing the rocket's fuel tank, causing it to leak. The film’s director, Robert Kenner, says the military was unprepared for the accident or how to respond, with those involved doing the best they could in the situation.

As a former civil rights attorney and now as a legal scholar and historian, Gloria Browne Marshall is no stranger to the restrictions American voters have faced in Southern states and elsewhere. Marshall is a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and  she is the author of The Voting Rights War: The NAACP and the Struggle for Justice.

Marshall spoke Friday evening in Little Rock about the state of voting rights and voter suppression past and present. 

Rock Island Choctaw Station
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former employees of the Rock Island Railroad joined officials from the Clinton Foundation and Clinton School of Public Service Monday, August 29, to unveil a vintage sign attached to the brick facade of what was the railroad’s longtime Little Rock passenger station. Today the two organizations, aligned with Bill Clinton’s neighboring presidential library, have offices in the restored building.

The structure was built in 1899 by the Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad, which was absorbed by the Rock Island during a hostile takeover in 1904. From the time of the building’s opening until the railroad stopped passenger service in 1967, "hundreds of thousands, millions of people I would imagine have come through this station," said Skip Rutherford, dean of the school, which is part of the University of Arkansas System. 

Secretary interior Sally jewell transportation secretary Anthony Foxx National Park Service Ranger Jodi Morris
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Two members of President Obama’s cabinet visited Little Rock Tuesday, getting a firsthand look at the historic Central High School. It was part of a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas

The city of Hot Springs is urging residents to avoid the demolition site of the Majestic Hotel complex because of "extremely dangerous conditions."

Assistant City Manager Lance Spicer says the degraded structure and hazardous substances makes the site dangerous to the public. He says anyone who enters the building without protective gear could face health complications.

Crews have removed asbestos and other hazardous materials as they demolish the hotel complex, which was heavily damaged in a 2014 fire.

Bill Clinton Hope Home House
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The home in Hope where former President Bill Clinton spent the first four years of his life is set to reopen following a Christmas Day fire.

National Parks Service officials told reporters that volunteers and employees are unpacking boxes in an effort to have the home ready for visitors on Saturday.

The Christmas Day fire that was called arson damaged the exterior and some of the interior of the home and graffiti was found on a sidewalk and on a door of the home. Authorities did not immediately return phone calls Thursday for comment on whether any arrests had been made.

Robert Miller of Arkansas's chapter of the League of the South holds a Confederate battle flag and the LOS flag on Capitol grounds.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Former Ku Klux Klan leader and former Louisiana Republican state representative David Duke says the climate is right for him to seek public office once again. Duke, referencing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, announced on Friday he's running in the state's U.S. Senate race.

Historic Arkansas Museum / Historic Arkansas Museum

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will proclaim Tuesday “Historic Arkansas Museum Day” at a celebration commemorating the museum’s 75th anniversary.

The Little Rock museum, once known as Arkansas Territorial Restoration, officially opened in July 1941. Chris Hancock, spokesman for the museum, said having a day declared as Historic Arkansas Museum Day honors both the museum and the city.

Little Rock Nine former President Bill Clinton prime minister Tony Blair Bill Clinton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair joined former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Little Rock Thursday, sharing concerns about growing divisiveness in the world. They spoke along with members of the Little Rock Nine to graduates of a leadership program before severe weather cut the event short.

The event was held in the auditorium at Central High School, with the former world leaders lamenting changes that have led to a hyper-partisan culture.

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