Arkansas History

Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After 28 years of work and fundraising to make it a reality, the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial will be dedicated this Saturday at the state Capitol.  It pays tribute to the 104 firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Their names are engraved at the 50-by-70 foot circular memorial, which features a bronze statue in the center with four firefighters, each representing the different kinds of work fire crews do.  Two are holding fire hoses, another equipment, while the fourth is treating a wounded child.  Flowing underneath the statue is a fountain.

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

Hot Springs' fire chief says the fire that destroyed the Majestic Hotel was likely set by trespassers - but that the cause may never be determined because it wasn't safe to send investigators inside the building before it was torn down.

Fire Chief Ed Davis says investigators believe the Feb. 27 fire was likely set by either "urban explorers" or homeless people who were inside the abandoned building on a regular basis.

Davis tells The Sentinel-Record that someone may have set the fire to keep warm, not as an attempt to burn the building down.

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

Crews continue to battle a massive fire that consumed an abandoned historic hotel that's been a Hot Springs landmark for more than 130 years.

The blaze broke out Thursday evening at the Majestic Hotel near Bathhouse Row downtown.

The hotel, which was built in 1882, had fallen into disrepair after its closure in 2006.

Authorities say the fire apparently started in the center section of the fifth floor of the original hotel building, then spread to the north and south ends of the building and lower floors.

Little Rock Nine 9
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Three of the nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957 are speaking in the area this week.

Two will be at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City Monday.  The university says Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts are scheduled to speak during an event titled "History Speaks: Little Rock Nine" on Monday.  The free event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the university's Hardeman Auditorium.

The historic Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs is now boarded up.

The hotel complex closed in 2006 after operating for 124 years. City officials say the structure isn't habitable in its current condition and needed to be secured to keep people out.

The Majestic had been owned by the same company that owns the nearby Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa but was sold to Arc Arkansas, which planned to convert the property to apartments, with ground-floor retail. That plan never got off the ground.

Mark Friedman / Arkansas Business

It’s not immediately clear why, but federal agents Tuesday executed search warrants at a North Little Rock company that has become well known for licensing and digitizing the photo collections of notable newspapers around the country. They were also at the expansive home of John Rogers, owner of Rogers Photo Archive.

Reporters were kept across from the locations, as boxes were removed and loaded into vehicles.

75 kids from around Central Arkansas are volunteering their time in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts an annual “MLK Challenge”, teaching kids about the legacy of Dr. King’s service, as well as the work of many others.

The children, ages 12 to 18, volunteer with eight different sites around Little Rock, including the Dream Center and the Rice Depot.

Rosanne Cash Johnny Cash
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

As final work is being completed to open Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas as a museum, his daughter Rosanne Cash came to Little Rock over the weekend for a sold out show and to be honored for her work in helping to restore the small house.

National Historic Sites Reopen Across Arkansas

Oct 17, 2013

Hundreds of federal employees who work at agencies across Arkansas returned to their jobs Thursday, after being furloughed.

Some workers, particularly those who oversee National Park Service sites in the state, had been off the job for 16 days due to the partial government shutdown.

They’re finally getting around to honoring the designer of the Arkansas flag, 100 years after it was created.

Willie K. Hocker of Wabbaseka created what we now use as the Arkansas state flag and unveiled it at the Arkansas State Fair in Hot Springs in 1913.

The design is the familiar diamond-shaped blue band on a red background with 25 white stars signifying Arkansas as the 25th state.

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