With the recent talks of climate change, it brings one’s spirit down on how we as humans have mismanaged the good green Earth.

However, not all hope is lost as Arkansas, dubbed as the “Natural State,” is the cure. Not a lot of people appreciate nature, but these facts are bound to change your mind.

So here are 98 basic Arkansas facts that make you want to visit the Natural State!

Basic Arkansas Facts: 1-5| History and Landmarks

1. The first explorer to land in Arkansas was Hernando de Soto in 1541.

2. A fur trader named Henri de Tonty, who founded the first European settlement in the Arkansas River, was dubbed the Father of Arkansas.

3. The Colbert Incident happened in Arkansas Post in 1783. It was the only Revolutionary War-related skirmish in the state.

4. The state’s name is pronounced as “AR-can-SAW,” not “ar-KANSAS.”

5. It is prohibited, by law, to mispronounce the state’s name.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 6-10 | History and Landmarks

6. The name Arkansas is derived from an old Quapaw, a Native American tribe, through early French settlers.

7. Arkansas is also known as the “Natural State.”

8. The official state bird is the mockingbird, which was designated in 1929.

9. The official state flower is the apple blossom, which was designated in 1901.

10. The official state tree is the pine tree, which was designated in 1939.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 11-15 | History and Landmarks

11. The official state mineral is bauxite, which was designated in 1967.

12. The official state gem is diamond, which was designated in 1967.

13. The official state rock is the quartz crystal, which was designated in 1967.

14. The official state insect is the honeybee, which was designated in 1973.

15. The official state beverage is milk, which was designated in 1985.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 16-20 | History and Landmarks

16. The official state instrument is the fiddle, which was designated in 1985.

17. In 1991, Square Dancing was named the official state dance of Arkansas.

18. Arkansas is the twenty-fifth state inducted into the Union on June 25, 1936.

19. Similar to Alabama, Arkansas had French settlers, which explained why most of the names have a hint of French.

20. Eureka Springs is the assigned historic district that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 21-25 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

21. Ostrich riding and racing was a popular activity in the early twentieth century at Cockburn’s Ostrich Farm, Hot Springs, Arkansas.

22. The oldest national forest is the Ouachita National Forest.

23. Possum pie does not actually contain even a sliver of possum meat. Possum pie contains cream, chocolate custard, pecans, and cream cheese. It’s called possum pie due to the way the oddly named desert’s image resembles a possum.

24. Arkansas is the host of three gastronomical conventions, the Cave City Watermelon Festival, the Johnson County Peach Festival, the Magnolia Blossom Festival and World Championship Steak Cook-Off.

25. Arkansans only drink tea iced and cold. Hot tea is not a cultural norm.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 26-30 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

26. Bill Clinton noted that his favorite place to eat and hang out is a place in Little Rock called Doe’s Eat Place.

27. The Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs is allegedly the “most haunted hotel” in the country.

28. At least 40 percent of the American-made rice hails from Arkansas, going up to a billion pounds of grain grown annually.

29. Alma County is said to be the spinach capital of the world.

30. Hope (a city), Arkansas claims to be the watermelon capital of the world.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 31-35 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

31. Snipe hunting seems like a story people make up to fool children, but it is an actual activity in Arkansas.

32. The biggest marketer and producer of chicken, Tyson Foods, had their humble beginning in 1935 by sending chicken from Arkansas to Chicago.

33. In Fayetteville, it is considered a crime to kill any living creature, even for sports or hunting purposes.

34. The hot springs, flowing from Hot Spring Mountain, are perfect for a dip at 143°F (61.6°C).

35. With Arkansas, the Buffalo River is the last remaining unpolluted, free-flowing river.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 36-40 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

36. Ouachita River is the lowest point in the state.

37. Ouachita is pronounced, “WASH-a-taw.”

38. Mount Magazine is the tallest point in the state.

39. In both Little Rock and Fort Smith, it is prohibited to honk your horn after 9:00 p.m. in an area that sells cold drinks or sandwiches.

40. It is legal to shoot a bear, but waking the gigantic mammal for a photograph is illegal, not to mention dangerous!

Basic Arkansas Facts: 41-45 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

41. In Fayetteville, it is prohibited for dogs to bark after 6:00 p.m.

42. It is considered both illegal and dangerous to keep an alligator in your bathtub.

43. Eureka Springs has the largest freestanding rock with a base circumference of ten inches, and the top measures almost ten feet across.

44. In 1918, it was illegal for a man and woman to flirt on the quiet streets of Little Rock. This law was passed to lessen the chances of solicitation. However, in 2019, that law is no longer active.

45. A law was being lobbied to our dear Mother Nature that the Arkansas River should not rise higher than the bridge on Main Street. This law, of course, did not pass, which is hilarious because how does one arrest Mother Nature?

Basic Arkansas Facts: 46-50 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

46. Selling alcohol on Christmas Day is not allowed.

47. Open containers are allowed inside cars, but passengers and drivers are not allowed to drink.

48. In Arkansas, there are about seventy-five counties, and about half of them are dry.

49. John M. Huddleston, a Pike County farmer, discovered diamonds in 1906. The area where he found them is where Crater of Diamonds State Park now stands.

50. Crater of Diamonds State Park, located right outside of Murfreesboro, is a park that allows prospectors (for a small fee) to hunt for precious stones such as but not limited to diamond, amethyst,  garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 51-55 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

51. Arkansas is the only state in North America that has an active diamond field.

52. Arkansas has been declared the twenty-ninth largest state by area.

53. Geographically speaking, the central area of Arkansas is Pulaski, which is twelve miles away from Little Rock.

54. The Ozarks National Forest covers, collectively, more than a million acres of land.

55. Magnet Cove has more than one hundred varieties of natural minerals.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 56-60 | Farming, Nature, and Culture

56. Arkansas has about six hundred thousand acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of rivers and streams.

57. There are about fifty state parks, ten scenic byways (seven are national and three states), and a total of 2.5 million acres of land.

58. A contest was held for Arkansas’s new flag. The winning design was made with the state’s rich mining history in mind hence the diamond shape.

59. Arkansas is known for having snakes slithering freely out in nature. There are currently six species of deadly snakes in Arkansas.

60. Ranked from worst to least venomous are: the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, the Timber Rattlesnake, the Coral Snake, the Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin, the Pygmy Rattlesnake, and finally, the Copperhear snake.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 61-68 | Notable Figures

61. There are about two hundred Arkansan political figures that are either from Arkansas or chose to emigrate to Arkansas.

62. Randy Alexander, a former Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, is from Washington County.

63. Bill Clinton, the forty-second president of the United States.

64. Hilary Clinton, First Lady of the United States, U. S. Senator from New York, U. S. Secretary of State, and 2016 Democratic nominee for President.

65. General Douglass MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

66. The first woman to be seated and served a full term in the U.S. Senate was Hattie Caraway, who is an Arkansas native.

67. Sam Walton, the business genius and founder of Wal-Mart opened his first store in Rogers, Arkansas. The store is both the headquarters and the Wal-Mart museum.

68. Ernest Hemingway was able to save his manuscripts from the fire that broke out in the writing studio. That house is now the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 69-73 | Famous Personalities

69. Scott Joplin, a composer, and musician.

70. Tracy Lawrence, a country singer, and songwriter.

71. Glen Campbell, a singer.

72. Elizabeth Gracen, an actress and Miss America 1982.

73. Best-selling author John Grisham was born in Jonesboro and grew up in Northeast Arkansas before becoming a household name. He occasionally comes to Arkansas for book signings.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 74-78 | Famous Personalities

74. The first woman to be seated and served a full term in the U.S. Senate was Hattie Caraway, who is an Arkansas native.

75. Conway Twitty, a singer.

76. Rodger Bumpass, the voice actor for Squidward Tentacles in Spongebob Squarepants.

77. Famous singer-songwriter Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland, Arkansas.

78. Steven Williams, popularly known as “Boogie2988”, is an internet personality and a YouTuber.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 79-83 | Famous Personalities

79. Daniel Davis, popularly known as Niles the butler in the hit TV sitcom The Nanny.

80. Kris Allen, a singer-songwriter and eighth-season winner of the wildly popular TV singing competition, American Idol.

81. Taylor Wilson was named as the “youngest person to achieve fusion” at the ripe age of fourteen.

82. Charlie Rich, singer.        

83. Mary Steenburgen, an Oscar-winning actress.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 84-88 | Famous Personalities

84. Ne-Yo, a songwriter, and R&B musician.

85. Chester Lauck, popularly known as Lum in Abner and Lum.

86. Bill Doolin, who was born in Johnson County, was an outlaw and founder of the Doolin-Dalton Gang, popularly known as the Wild Bunch, a gang of outlaws prominent in the Indian territories of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma areas.

87. Billy Bob Thorton, actor, singer, songwriter, musician, and filmmaker.

88. Freeman Owen, a Pine Bluff native, was the first person who successfully added sound to films.

Basic Arkansas Facts: 89-93 | Movie and Pop Culture Facts

89. Arkansas is known for having a monster resident called the Boggy Creek Monster. Much like Sasquatch or Bigfoot, people report sightings of this allegedly foul creature. The stories of this creature began as early as the 1950s.

90. The Boggy Creek Monster became so popular, it inspired a movie to be filmed in 1970 called The Legend of the Boggy Creek Monster.

91. Contrary to popular belief, the hit TV show Ozark was not filmed in Ozark, Arkansas, but it was filmed in Georgia. The production crew has noted that they were inspired by the Ozark mountain range and thought that it would make a great story but chose to film in another location due to production costs.

92. Sir Paul McCartney once hinted that the desegregation in Little Rock Central High School was the inspiration behind the hit song “Blackbird.”

93. After the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley had his Army-mandated haircut in Fort Chaffe, Arkansas, on March 25, 1958, the barbershop became a museum for Elvis fans to come and visit.

Basic Arkansas Facts That Make You Want to Visit The Naural State: 94-98 | Miscellaneous Facts

94. The largest producer of Appalachian dulcimers is in Mountain View, Arkansas.

95. Three of the largest diamonds ever found in America were discovered in Arkansas. One of the diamonds found is a permanent display in the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

96. The Ozark Mountains have a surreal phenomenon known as the “Dover Lights,” where a series of lights flash and then disappear. There are many stories about what this phenomenon is, but many claim it is a hoax.

97. In Hot Springs, Arkansas, there is an alligator farm that has been in operation since 1902. The farm rears alligators, but they had the brilliant idea of opening an alligator petting zoo for the public to get close and personal with the gators.

98. Maybelline, one of the biggest names in the makeup industry, opened its factory in Little Rock in 1975.


50 States
Legends of America
The Fact File
Mental Floss
The Culture Trip
Trip Savvy
Trip Savvy
Reader’s Digest

Categorized in: