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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
White-tailed Deer, Official State Mammal

In 1993, the Arkansas General Assembly passed House Bill 2110 designating the white-tailed deer as the official state mammal. Governor Jim Guy Tucker subsequently signed the bill into law, making Arkansas one of eleven states that claim the white-tailed deer as an official symbol.

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This Day in Arkansas History
November 12, 1872

Chicot County resident Charles M. McDermott—a medical doctor, minister, plantation owner, Greek scholar, charter member of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and inventor—had his patent “Improvement in Apparatus for Navigating the Air” granted. His patented inventions included an iron wedge, an iron hoe, a cotton-picking machine, and a “flying machine.” When he felt confident at last in his gliders, he had hauled one of the flying machines by wagon to Washington DC to apply for the patent, which he received after thirty-nine years of experimentation. It is believed to be the first patent for an airplane.

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