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Welcome to the new CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas

The CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas is a free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of Arkansas. It is updated regularly to ensure the people of Arkansas have an accurate and accessible resource to explore our heritage. It will also benefit people outside the state who are seeking information about Arkansas. We invite you to browse our text entries and media galleries to learn more about the people, places, events, legends, and lore of the 25th state. The CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas is a work in progress. We are continually adding new entries, photographs, maps, videos, and audio files, so check back frequently to see what’s new.

Photo Of The Day
Greers Ferry Dam

Greers Ferry Dam, located on the Little Red River approximately three miles north of Heber Springs (Cleburne County), was constructed between 1959 and 1962. At a cost of almost $47 million, the dam was built mainly for flood control but also provides hydroelectric power. The structure is 1,704 feet long and stands 243 feet above the Little Red River stream bed. The dam, which created a highly popular 30,000- to 40,000-acre reservoir, was dedicated on October 3, 1963, by President John F. Kennedy and is shown here circa 1970.

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This Day in Arkansas History
January 19, 1918

John Johnson was born into abject poverty in Arkansas City (Desha County). He graduated from high school in Chicago, Illinois, where his mother had taken him at age nine following the accidental death of his father. Johnson became editor of the monthly newsletter of the insurance company where he worked while attending the University of Chicago; in 1942, with a $500 loan secured by his mother’s furniture, he published the first issue of Negro Digest, which was an instant success. He established the Johnson Publishing Company and, in 1945, began publication of Ebony. He began publishing Jet in 1951. He was named among the Forbes 400 richest Americans, and President Bill Clinton gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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