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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
Methodist Missionaries

During the early 1800s, the American Colonization Society promoted the settlement of freed slaves to Africa, resulting in the founding of Liberia. With the discrimination in the Jim Crow South by the late 1890s, a new Back-to-Africa movement emerged. During that time, approximately 650 Arkansas emigrants made the long journey. Among them were approximately a dozen black Arkansas missionaries, such as this Methodist missionary group that posed for this photo before making the trip to Liberia in 1898.

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This Day in Arkansas History
November 22, 1882

Seven men met in a blacksmith shop in Hot Springs (Garland County) with the goal of forming a local assembly of the Knights of Labor (KOL). The largest American labor organization of its era, the KOL recruited workers across boundaries of gender, race, and skill. The organization claimed more than 700,000 members at its peak in 1886, and actual membership at that time may have surpassed one million. In Arkansas, membership peaked at more than 5,000 in 1887, and despite the KOL’s official view of strikes as a measure of last resort, the organization led strikes in Arkansas among railroad workers, coal miners, and African-American farmhands.

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