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Welcome to the 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. Search for key words or check out our Arkansas Overview to get started.

Photo Of The Day
Rice Harvesting

This aerial view of a modern rice harvest near Stuttgart (Arkansas County) illustrates how far rice farming has developed from Arkansas County’s first rice crop, planted by W. E. Hope as an experiment in 1902. Within five years, production of the crop greatly expanded, with profits of a local rice mill exceeding $15,000. From those humble beginnings, Arkansas County has become one of the leading rice-producing areas in the world.

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This Day in Arkansas History
August 10, 1975

The hospital facility St. Edward Mercy Medical Center in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) was dedicated. President Gerald Ford was in attendance at the dedication ceremony. The original hospital, St. Edward’s Infirmary, was opened by the Sisters of Mercy in 1905. The facility was expanded in 1923 and renamed St. Edward’s Hospital. St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, along with Sparks Regional Medical Center, serves Fort Smith and the surrounding area.

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