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

seal-of-arkansas

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.
  • 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

Famous Arkansans

  • Maya Angelou- author and poet
  • Johnny Cash- singer
  • Bill Clinton- president
  • Mark Martin- NASCAR driver
  • Sid Vicious- wrestler
  • John Grisham- author

Fun Facts

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