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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.

Photo Of The Day
Orval Thomas

Deluxe Studio of Hot Springs (Garland County) was a leading twentieth-century Arkansas photography studio. In 1933, at the age of fourteen, future television and film technician Orval Thomas began his career as an employee of the studio, mainly editing film. He is shown here as a young man promoting the studio by shooting film on the streets of Hot Springs dressed in costume.

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This Day in Arkansas History
September 28, 1999

Bernell “Fatman” Austin, creator of the first fried dill pickle, died at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock (Pulaski County). The Austin family still sells Fatman’s Original Fried Dill Pickles, using his secret recipe, during the annual two-day Picklefest held every May in downtown Atkins (Pope County).

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