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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
Alligator Snapping Turtle

Nineteen species and subspecies of turtles are known to occur in Arkansas. One of these, the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. An adult turtle that is sometimes referred to as the “dinosaur of the turtle world,” can live up to 100 years and weigh almost 200 pounds. The turtle shown here, which was donated to the Little Rock Zoo, was caught in the White River near the small town of Guion (Izard County).

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This Day in Arkansas History
July 19, 1971

The merger of Arkansas A&M College with the University of Arkansas system took effect, establishing the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM). Governor Dale Bumpers had signed the legislation for the merger in January. In the late 1960s, Claude H. Babin and other school leaders had supported it. This was a controversial issue, however, and some school leaders were concerned about the change this would bring in institutional independence. Anticipated benefits from the merger included an opportunity to address the institution’s budgetary concerns and bolster its efforts to become accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Babin stayed on as the first UAM chancellor, stepping down on January 1, 1977. He continued to teach at UAM until his retirement in …

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