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Arkansas Facts For Kids

Arkansas Facts

Arkansas is located in the southeastern United States and is the nation’s 29th largest state (in area) and the 33rd most populous.

The state is known for its very diverse geography, which includes mountains, forests, and lowlands.

seal-of-arkansas

It’s also home to many caves, lakes, and state and national parks.

Quick Facts

Capital: Little Rock

Population: 3 million

Nickname: The Natural State, The Land of Opportunity

Key Cities: Fayetteville, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Springdale, Hot Springs, Jonesboro

Postal Abbreviation: AR

Major Industries: Agriculture, transportation, food manufacturing, paper and timber, aerospace

History

How did Arkansas get its name: Arkansas was given its name by early French or Spanish explorers in the territory.

The Quapaw people lived downstream from the explorers and were called the Akansea, or “south wind,” by the Indians of the Ohio Valley. Arkansas is a phonetic spelling of this name.

Quapaw-people

Date admitted to the Union: Wednesday, June 15, 1836

Geography

Size: 53,179 sq. miles

Lowest point: Ouachita River at 55 feet

Highest point: Magazine Mountain at 2,753 feet

Counties: 75

Famous locations: Hot Springs National Park, Buffalo National River, Arkansas Air Museum, Mammoth Spring State Park, Mount Magazine State Park

mount-magazine

Famous Arkansans

Maya Angelou- author and poet

Johnny Cash- singer

Bill Clinton- president

Mark Martin- NASCAR driver

Sid Vicious- wrestler

John Grisham- author

john-grisham

Fun Facts About Arkansas

Arkansas is the only place in the United States where diamonds are actively discovered and mined.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Pike County, Arizona is the world’s only diamond mining site that is open to the public. There, tourists can dig for their own sparkly jewels.

In the early 1900’s, the state’s Hot Springs National Park featured the world’s largest ostrich farm.

ostrich-farm

Visitors to the popular tourist destination could ride in ostrich-pulled wagons and watch ostrich races.

Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, is located directly in the center of the state.

It was also the center of national attention when, in 1957, federal troops enforced integration at Little Rock Central High School.

This was considered an important moment in the Civil Rights movement.

cheese-dip-championship

The world’s first cheese dip was invented in a restaurant called Little Mexico in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1935. To this day, the World Cheese Dip Championship is held in Little Rock each year.

Arkansas grows almost every crop produced in the United States, except citrus fruits.

It’s the nation’s leading producer of poultry and rice, producing half the nation’s rice.

That adds up to nearly nine billion pounds every year!

duck-calling-contest

Every Thanksgiving weekend in Stuttgart, Arkansas, the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest is held. The winner receives an official championship ring.

More United States facts.