Entries - Starting with U

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District

Although technically a part of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has played a vital role in the development of civilian transportation infrastructure and water resources since Congress passed the first river and harbors bill in 1824 and charged the corps with maintaining navigational channels. Work on the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers received first priority, but as settlers moved farther west, attention soon focused on other navigable streams. Until 1916, Congress authorized only navigational improvements on rivers. Flood control only entered the corps’ mandate indirectly, as levees were considered navigational aids. However, as agricultural and transportation needs grew and the national economic importance of the lower Mississippi River Valley became evident, politicians found it easier …

U.S. Highway 62

aka: Highway 62
U.S. Highway 62 crosses the northern counties of Arkansas. It passes through eleven counties, from Washington County in the west to Clay County in the east. Some portions of Highway 62 were proposed by William Hope “Coin” Harvey, who wanted to facilitate automobile traffic to his tourist destination, Monte Ne (Benton County). Route U.S. Highway 62 begins in El Paso, Texas, and runs through ten states to Niagara Falls, New York. It is the only east-west highway in the United States that connects Mexico to Canada. The entire length of the highway is 2,245 miles, of which 329.9 miles cross the state of Arkansas. U.S. Highway 62 enters Arkansas from Oklahoma as a two-lane highway. It runs through Summers (Washington …

U.S. Highway 63

U.S. Highway 63 enters Arkansas at Junction City (Union County) and leaves Arkansas at Mammoth Spring (Fulton County). Between these two cities, it also serves Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), West Memphis (Crittenden County), and Jonesboro (Craighead County). Much of the highway is part of the interstate system, including sections of I-530, I-40, I-55, and I-555. Route U.S. Highway 63 extends from Ruston, Louisiana, to Benoit, Wisconsin, a path of 1,286 miles. In Arkansas, it travels through fourteen counties, covering a little more than 400 miles. The highway enters Arkansas in Junction City, a municipality that exists in both Arkansas and Louisiana, making it the southernmost community in Arkansas. The four-lane highway runs concurrently with U.S. Highway 167 from its origin …

U.S. Highway 64

aka: Highway 64
aka: U.S. 64
U.S. Highway 64 crosses the state of Arkansas, connecting Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to West Memphis (Crittenden County). It passes through eleven counties of the state. In western Arkansas, it travels the Arkansas River Valley and parallels Interstate 40; in eastern Arkansas, it transverses the Mississippi River Delta significantly north of the Arkansas River and the interstate highway. Route Highway 64 runs 2,326 miles from Arizona to North Carolina, passing through six states, including Arkansas. Its route covers 246 miles in Arkansas. The highway enters Arkansas as a four-lane bridge over the Arkansas River. It rises over the Harry E. Kelley River Park, Belle Point, and the Fort Smith National Historic Site and continues through Fort Smith as Garrison Avenue. …

U.S. Highway 65

aka: Highway 65
aka: U.S. 65
U.S. Highway 65 is a major north-south corridor in Arkansas. Passing through eleven counties, the highway includes Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), Conway (Faulkner County), and Harrison (Boone County) among the cities it serves. Route U.S. Highway 65 begins in Clayton, Louisiana, and crosses Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa before ending in Minnesota. The entire highway is 966 miles, of which 313 miles are in Arkansas. The highway enters Arkansas as a two-lane road in Chicot County not far from the Mississippi River. It runs parallel to the railroad tracks through Eudora (Chicot County), Chicot (Chicot County), and Lake Village (Chicot County), where it widens to four lanes. The highway continues north to McGehee (Desha County) before cutting …

U.S. Highway 67

aka: Highway 67
U.S. Highway 67 stretches from the southwestern corner of Arkansas in Texarkana (Miller County) to the northeastern corner of the state north of Corning (Clay County). It passes through thirteen counties, generally following the course of the military road known as the Southwest Trail, which was established across Arkansas during territorial times. In 2009, the Arkansas General Assembly designated a portion of the road as the Rock ’n’ Roll Highway—a reference to the musical heritage of the road. Route U.S. Highway 67 extends 1,560 miles, beginning in Presidio, Texas, at the border with Mexico, and ending near Sabula, Iowa. The Arkansas portion of the highway is roughly 280 miles. The highway enters Arkansas in the city of Texarkana as a …

U.S. Highway 70

U.S. Highway 70 runs from southwestern Arkansas through Hot Springs (Garland County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County) to West Memphis (Crittenden County). It passes through thirteen counties in Arkansas. Until the completion of Interstate 40, it was the main highway linking Little Rock to Memphis, Tennessee, and it continues to be the principal route bringing travelers to Hot Springs. Route U.S. Highway 70 begins in Globe, Arizona—originally a mining settlement—and runs east 2,385 miles to Atlantic, North Carolina—an unincorporated community on the East Coast. About 280 of those highway miles are in Arkansas. The highway enters Arkansas about eight miles west of De Queen (Sevier County), where it is called the Collin Raye Highway. In De Queen, it runs through …

U.S. Highway 71

In Arkansas, U.S. Highway 71 stretches from the southwestern border of the state south of Kiblah (Miller County) to the northwestern corner north of Bella Vista (Benton County). It passes through nine counties in Arkansas, generally following an alignment of the Ozark Trail. Route U.S. Highway 71 extends 1,532 miles beginning near Krotz Springs, Louisiana, and passes through Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota before ending at the U.S.-Canadian border north of Bemidji, Minnesota. The Arkansas portion is approximately 300 miles. The highway enters Arkansas south of Kiblah as a two-lane highway heading north, passing through Doddridge (Miller County) and Fouke (Miller County) before reaching Texarkana (Miller County). At Texarkana, Highway 71 has a short concurrence with U.S. Highway …

U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the nation. Divided into ninety-four districts, the agency’s structure aligns with that of the United States district courts. Arkansas has two districts—the Western District headquartered in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and the Eastern District headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County). During the nineteenth century, fugitives often fled to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in an effort to escape prosecution. Apprehending these criminals was a dangerous assignment for the U.S. deputy marshals—consequently, there are more deputy and special deputy marshals buried in the Fort Smith region than anywhere else in the nation. On September 24, 1789, George Washington signed Senate Bill 1, which included the Judiciary Act, of which …

U.S. Senator Hattie Caraway Gravesite

The first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, the first to preside over a session of the Senate, the first to chair a committee, and the first to preside over a Senate hearing was Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway of Jonesboro (Craighead County). On September 20, 2007, her Jonesboro gravesite was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Caraway was born on February 2, 1878, in Tennessee. While attending college at Dickson Normal College in Dickson, Tennessee, she met her future husband, Thaddeus Horatius Caraway of Clay County, Arkansas. They were married in 1902 and moved to Jonesboro. Thad Caraway was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1912 and the U.S. Senate in 1920. After his …

U.S. Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton

The case U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton (514 U.S. 779, 1995) began as a conflict over term limitations placed on those elected to the House of Representatives (three terms in office) and the U.S. Senate (two terms in office) from the state of Arkansas. It ended with the U.S. Supreme Court interpreting the role of the states in the federal structure created by the U.S. Constitution. The Court resolved the dispute by ruling that the qualifications for those elected to the U.S. Congress listed in the U.S. Constitution are exclusive. Thus, states may not impose additional qualifications upon candidates for the U.S. Congress either directly, or, as in the case of Arkansas, indirectly. Arkansas imposed term limitations through Amendment …

UFO Sightings

aka: Airship Sightings
Arkansas has had a number of sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Most sightings have been isolated events, but there have been a few events in Arkansas’s recorded history in which several people have reported seeing a UFO—most notably in 1896–97 and 1965. Some have argued that the “UFOs” in the late 1800s were in fact airships or balloons that inventors were experimenting with flying. Others maintain that the sightings were a hoax perpetrated by citizens or newspaper reporters. Throughout the fall and winter of 1896 and 1897, people across the country, beginning in California, reported seeing what they termed airships. By the spring, the phenomenon moved into Arkansas. According to newspaper reports, on April 20, 1897, Captain Jim Hooton, …

Ulm (Prairie County)

  Ulm is a town in southern Prairie County, on U.S. Highway 79 between Clarendon (Monroe County) and Stuttgart (Arkansas County). Although the town is named for a city in southern Germany, the pronunciation differs from the German, with Arkansans speaking the name of the town as a two-syllable word (“Ull-im”). The Grand Prairie region of Arkansas was sparsely settled until after the Civil War. According to local tradition, German immigrants who had settled in Illinois and served in the Federal army during the Civil War were awarded land grants in Arkansas. The first veteran to view the land returned to Illinois and traded his land grant for several gallons of whiskey, but other German immigrants made the trip and chose …

Umsted, Sidney Albert

aka: Sid Umsted
Sidney (Sid) Albert Umsted, known as the “Father of the Smackover Oil Field,” drilled the first well in the Smackover (Union County) area, introducing Arkansas’s largest oil discovery. In 1925, the Smackover field produced over 77 million barrels of oil and was the largest oil field in the nation at that time. Sid Umsted was born on November 22, 1876, in Houston County, Texas, to Caroline Pearson and Albert “Newt” Umsted, who had moved there from Chidester (Ouachita County). Umsted’s father abandoned the family while Sid was a child, and his mother moved back to Chidester to be near family members. When Umsted was eight, his mother married Harrison Bratton, and the family settled on a farm near Bernice, Louisiana. …

Under Siege

The television movie Under Siege was first broadcast over two nights in February 1986. It was filmed in and around Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1985, with the Arkansas State Capitol standing in for the nation’s capitol building in Washington DC. Today, the movie is notable for its prescient storyline of a suicide terrorist attack by Arab nationals against the U.S. mainland, an idea considered improbable at the time. This movie should not be confused with a 1992 Steven Seagal martial-arts movie of the same title. Running 180 minutes split over two nights, the movie was billed as a “Special Event Miniseries” on the NBC network. Under Siege was directed by Roger Young, who also directed the movies Into Thin …

Underground Hospital

aka: Fifty-fifth General Hospital
The Fifty-fifth General Hospital, “the Underground Hospital,” at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in Pulaski County was activated on May 25, 1943, during the United States’ involvement in World War II. Documents relating to the hospital were declassified on September 27, 1958; these stated that the Underground Hospital was the brainchild of then commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Charles Chute Gill of the United States Army Medical Corps. Prior to other modern medical ventures, such as the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units implemented during the Korean War, the Underground Hospital experiment sought to simulate battle conditions and assess the potential for providing protected medical care at or near the frontlines. Gill, a graduate of the Medical School at the University of …

Underwood, Sheryl

Comedian and actress Sheryl P. Underwood has gained national recognition in comedy, television, politics, and philanthropy. She is a member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Sheryl Underwood was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) at St. Vincent Infirmary on October 28, 1963, to Cleo Underwood and Joyce Evelyn Underwood. She and her twin sister were premature and placed in an incubator shortly after birth; her twin died soon afterward. Underwood experienced domestic violence between her parents and spoke about it during her first episode as one of the hosts of The Talk, a CBS talk show, in 2011, revealing that she carries her twin’s birth certificate with her. Underwood has two other siblings: her brother Michael and her …

Union County

  At more than 1,000 square miles, Union County is the state’s largest geographically. Ninety percent of the county is forested. Forage and hay are raised for livestock, but no row crops are cultivated. Nearly one-quarter of the work force is employed in manufacturing, primarily in petrochemical, poultry processing, and wood products operations. Louisiana Purchase through Early StatehoodIn November 1829, the territorial legislature formed Union County from parts of Hempstead and Clark counties. The next spring, the county court convened at the former colonial trading post of Ecore Fabre (now Camden in Ouachita County) on a bluff overlooking the Ouachita River. In 1837, county officers anticipated that a pending division of the county would slice away the Ecore Fabre region …

Union County Courthouse

The Union County Courthouse is located in downtown El Dorado (Union County), a 1920s oil boomtown about twenty miles from the Louisiana state border. The four-story Union County Courthouse, like others across the state, is situated in a public square where businesses, banks, and law offices occupy rows of buildings around the seat of justice. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the courthouse as historically and architecturally significant for its symbolism of El Dorado’s growth and its example of the Classical Revival style. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1983. The first building used as a courthouse in Union County was a storeroom owned by Albert Rust at Champagnolle (Union County) in the …

Union County Lynching of 1873

In the spring of 1873, four unidentified African Americans were reportedly murdered by other black residents in Union County in response to a hideous attack they allegedly committed on a white woman. Newspapers across the nation printed the report, based on a letter written by county resident Thomas Warren to a friend in Clay County, Missouri. In 1870, Warren, a native of Missouri, was a farm laborer living near Van Buren (Crawford County) with his wife and two children. Warren reported that in mid-March 1873, a pregnant married woman in Union County started off on horseback to stay with a neighbor for several days. When she arrived at the neighbor’s house, no one was there, and she started to ride …

Union Hill (Independence County)

Union Hill of Independence County is located on Union Hill Road, which connects with Highway 167 (Batesville Boulevard) at Pleasant Plains (Independence County) and Thida Road. Union Hill has historically had close ties with Jackson and White counties and to Pleasant Plains and Oil Trough (Independence County). Most of the land in Thida (Independence County) and Union Hill was owned by Roswell Beebe, his wife, and their lawyer, a Mr. Turner. Beebe was born in 1795 in Hinsdale, New York, to a wealthy English family; he later settled in Arkansas. In pre–Civil War Arkansas, Beebe was one of the most influential businessmen and politicians in the state. Union Hill was placed on the map in 1904 when a post office …

Union Labor Party

The Union Labor Party (ULP) participated in only two election years in Arkansas (1888 and 1890), yet during that brief span, it mounted the most serious challenge that the state’s Democratic Party faced between the end of Reconstruction and the rebirth of the Republican Party in the mid-1960s. The ULP appealed to farmers and industrial workers and drew significant support from white and black voters alike. The party’s failure to topple the Democrats from power underscored the failure of democracy itself in Arkansas while shedding light on some of the ugliest episodes in the history of American politics. OriginsThe national Union Labor Party was formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in February 1887 by some 300 to 600 delegates at a convention …

Union Occupation of Arkansas

At the Arkansas Secession Convention in May 1861, only Isaac Murphy, among seventy total delegates, refused to repudiate Arkansas’s bonds with the United States. The total delegation was representative of the wishes of many Arkansans, but Unionist sentiment ran deep in some regions, and eagerness for secession was not wholly unanimous among ordinary Arkansans expected to rally to the Confederate cause. During the war, these same ordinary Arkansans were pressed by Union and Confederate armies for conscription and forage, and devastation wrought by irregular partisans hastened a complete breakdown of civilized society in many parts of the state. Union forces were successful in reestablishing law and order as they pushed into Arkansas but were largely restricted to the area around their …

Union Station

aka: MoPac Station
The original version of what became Union Station in Little Rock (Pulaski County) was built in 1872–73. This building was demolished in 1906 to make way for a concrete and brick structure built in 1907. This station burned in 1920 but was rebuilt, opening again in summer 1921. Also known as the Missouri Pacific or “MoPac” Station, Union Station is located on Markham and Victory streets and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 17, 1977. In the twenty-first century, it is used as a stop for the Amtrak Texas Eagle and as part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. It also serves as an event venue and houses office space. The fire in 1920 that destroyed …

Unionists

Unionists were Arkansans who remained loyal to the United States after the state seceded from the Union during the American Civil War, often suffering retaliation from Confederate forces and guerrillas. A significant number of Arkansas Unionists served in the Federal army, and loyal Arkansans formed a Unionist government in 1864. Of the more than 111,000 African Americans held in slavery in 1860, the overwhelming majority should be considered Unionists, and thousands flocked to the protection of Union armies at their first opportunity. As the possibility of disunion arose following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Arkansans were not wholeheartedly in favor of secession. Arkansas had been a state for only twenty-five years and had benefited from the presence of …

Unitarian Universalists

Although Arkansas’s church-going population can be generally characterized as religiously conservative, the state is nevertheless represented on the liberal end of the religious spectrum by a relatively small group of Unitarian Universalists with churches and fellowships in six communities. The largest is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, which began as a Unitarian Fellowship in 1950. National RootsTwo struggling religious denominations in the United States, the Unitarians and the Universalists, merged in 1961. Each had developed independently, but a shared liberal perspective that values free will and resists dogma provided common ground. The religious ideas at the core of each date to the beginning of the Christian church in Europe and fueled long histories of dissent from established teachings. …

United Confederate Veterans (UCV)

When the Civil War ended in 1865, thousands of Confederate veterans returned home to Arkansas. Many of these veterans remained in the state and slowly rebuilt their lives after four long years of war. A national organization for Confederate veterans was not established until 1889, when some Confederate veterans’ groups met in New Orleans, Louisiana, and organized the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). It was the counterpart to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a national organization of Union veterans that had been established in 1866, although the UCV never had the political power or the prestige of the GAR. However, the UCV did have the power to directly affect the lives of its members at a local level. The …

United Confederate Veterans Reunion of 1911

Little Rock (Pulaski County) hosted the twenty-first annual United Confederate Veterans Reunion on May 16–18, 1911. The reunion drew more than 140,000 people, including approximately 12,000 veterans, making it the largest event in Little Rock history until William Jefferson Clinton’s election night in 1992. The United Confederate Veterans (UCV) formed in 1889 with a goal of keeping alive the memory of the men who fought for the South during the Civil War and to bring national attention to the needs of the aging veterans. The annual reunion was one of the group’s major projects, and towns across the country vied to host the event. Judge William M. Kavanaugh chaired Little Rock’s planning committee for the event. Subcommittees arranged for lodging, …

United Confederate Veterans Reunion of 1928

The thirty-eighth annual national reunion of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV), held on May 8–11, 1928, marked the second time that Little Rock (Pulaski County) served as the event’s host city, seventeen years after the much-celebrated 1911 reunion. Governor John Ellis Martineau’s personal invitation, along with a $30,000 legislative appropriation to provide free entertainment for all veterans, helped Little Rock beat out the cities of Atlanta, Georgia, and Lexington, Kentucky, for the honor. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) oversaw all planning. Edmund R. Wiles, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Division of the SCV, served as general chairman of the reunion committee and used the War Memorial Building (now the Old State House) as committee headquarters. In November 1927, Wiles dispelled …

United Confederate Veterans Reunion of 1949

The fifty-ninth annual national reunion of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) marked the third and final time that Little Rock (Pulaski County) served as host city for the event. Thereafter, the UCV held only two more national reunions. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) planned and organized all of the event’s activities. Little Rock’s Robert C. Newton Camp of the SCV served as the host organization throughout the reunion. Other organizations associated with the reunion included the Order of the Stars and Bars and the Confederated Southern Memorial Association (CSMA). Due to the limited number of living Civil War veterans, reunion officials expected no more than eight veterans to attend the event. Even this modest attendance expectation went unfulfilled, however, …

United Daughters of the Confederacy

The first United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter in Arkansas—and the second west of the Mississippi River—was Pat Cleburne Chapter 31, chartered on March 7, 1896, in Hope (Hempstead County). As with all Arkansas chapters, the objectives remain the same: historical, educational, benevolent, memorial, and patriotic. Mrs. C. A. Forney was the chapter’s first president. Arkansas has chapters in eighteen towns, encompassing 600 members in 2005. On January 21, 1952, the Arkansas UDC was incorporated as a non-profit organization. The United Daughters of the Confederacy was the outgrowth of consolidating benevolent organizations and auxiliaries of United Confederate Veterans Camps, which were formed after the Civil War. On September 10, 1894, Anna Davenport Raines of Georgia and Caroline Meriwether Goodlet of …

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) was at one time the most powerful union in the United States. The union, which remains active in the twenty-first century, encouraged the development of the Arkansas State Federation of Labor. The UMWA was formed in 1890 in Columbus, Ohio, when Knights of Labor Trade Assembly No. 135 merged with the National Progressive Union of Miners and Mine Laborers. This combined union banned discrimination against any members based on race, national origin, or religion. By 1898, the UMWA had achieved improvements in wages and hours per week with mine operators in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In 1898, the UMWA began organizing miners in western Arkansas. Arkansas became a part of District 21, and …

United Sons of Ham of America

aka: Sons of Ham
United Sons of Ham of America (USH) was a popular African-American secret society in the South during Reconstruction. In Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Sons of Ham was established on October 7, 1865, and was considered the city’s first black benevolent fraternal organization, starting with twenty members meeting in a wood-frame building. The goals of the society were to encourage industry, brotherly love, and charity by providing support to the widows and orphans of its deceased members. The Sons of Ham enforced a strict moral code that included no gambling or drinking. Although the organization proclaimed itself to be non-political, an annual convention held in 1871 closely resembled a state legislative session in which bills were introduced and passed and …

United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas

The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is the federal trial court of record for thirty-four counties in western, south-central, and north-central Arkansas. With headquarters in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and branches in Fayetteville (Washington County), Harrison (Boone County), Texarkana (Miller County), Hot Springs (Garland County), and El Dorado (Union County), the three judges and two magistrates of the Western District under Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution exercise judicial power over “all cases in law and equity, arising under [the] constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made or which shall be made.” Generally, the Western District exercises power over two broadly defined types of civil cases: those that involve a …

United States v. Burch

The court case of United States v. Burch centered upon Chris Burch’s opposition to Bill Barnes’s expansion of his private resort community, Mountain Harbor Resort, farther into the Ouachita National Forest in western Arkansas. Chris Burch had lived around the forest since 1977 and enjoyed its natural beauty. Bill Barnes’s father had leased lands from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1955, and Barnes was continuing his father’s work: to develop the land to meet the public’s needs as was dictated by the lease. Burch’s family, who owned and operated a small motel and general store, was friendly with—and even referred customers to—Barnes, who frequently returned the favor. Burch, however, was troubled when Barnes requested a new lease over …

United States v. Miller et al.

United States v. Miller et al. originated in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith Division when a federal grand jury indicted two men for transporting a sawed-off shotgun from Oklahoma to Arkansas in violation of a federal firearm statute. The case eventually became the single instance in which the U.S. Supreme Court explicitly tackled the Second Amendment in the twentieth century, and it remains controversial to this day. The National Firearms Act (NFA), Public Law 73-474, effective July 26, 1934, was in reaction to widespread gun violence during the Prohibition era. The NFA required that certain weapons—principally machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and rifles, and silencers—be registered with the federal government and be heavily taxed. On April …

United States v. Waddell et al.

United States v. Waddell et al. is a U.S. Supreme Court case that arose from an 1883 incident of nightriding (sometimes called whitecapping) in Van Buren County, in which a group of armed white men attempted to drive off a black homesteader. The case centered upon the question of whether or not an individual, having settled upon a piece of property for purposes of obtaining a federal homestead, enjoyed the protection of the federal government in attempting to exercise his rights in the face of conspiracies to intimidate. On December 13, 1882, Burrell Lindsay, an African American, made a homestead entry for a tract of land in Bradley Township in southeastern Van Buren County. On the night of January 10, …

Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was an ambitious organization of people of African descent worldwide in the late 1910s and 1920s. The movement built upon Back-to-Africa movements of the late 1800s, which encouraged people of color to look to Africa both as an ancestral homeland and a hope for a future. The association’s founder, Jamaican-born Garvey, had come to the United States in 1916, and he took advantage of a wave of racial violence following the end of World War I to mobilize African Americans to eschew integration for black nationalist goals. The message of racial pride, separation from white society, and emigration to the African continent distinguished the UNIA from other civil rights movements of the period. …

University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS)

The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) is a state-supported liberal arts institution of higher education with its main campus located near Interstate 540 in the north-central part of the city. The 164-acre campus is a local landmark highly prized by area citizenry for its well-kept beauty. Founded in 1928 by the local school board as an extension of the high school, Fort Smith Junior College (FSJC) had thirty-four students in its first class. Financed in the beginning out of the high school budget, the college was established during a national educational movement toward two-year colleges. In 1937, FSJC students moved out of the high school itself into their own classrooms, which had been built into the new football …

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a member of the University of Arkansas system, which includes four other major campuses and the Clinton School of Public Service. UALR began in 1927 as Little Rock Junior College (LRJC), housed in the Little Rock High School Building (later Central High School) under the administration of the Little Rock School Board. It became Little Rock University (LRU) in 1957 and moved to University Avenue. LRU became the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) after it merged with the University of Arkansas system in 1969. In January 2017, the chancellor announced that the shortened form of the school’s name would be UA Little Rock rather than UALR. The university is a metropolitan university that …

University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law is one of two Arkansas law schools, both of which are state supported and part of the University of Arkansas System. The first formal program of legal education in Arkansas was established in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1868 and was known as the Little Rock Law Class. Arkansas Industrial University, now the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), assumed sponsorship of this law class in 1892, establishing the Law Department in Little Rock under the deanship of Judge Frank Goar. The Law Department existed until 1915, when, as the result of disagreement between the law school and the board of trustees over the law …

University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM)

The University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) was established in 1909 as one of the state’s four agricultural schools. It supports the only forestry school in the state. Although the smallest of the University of Arkansas (UA) campuses, it owns the most land, including 1,036 acres devoted to forestry research and instruction, as well as 300 acres used for agricultural teaching and research. Founding: Fourth District State Agricultural School From 1906 to 1909, the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union lobbied the state legislature to create four agricultural schools. These schools would instruct students in modern farming practices and provide a general education resulting in a high school diploma. In 1909, the Arkansas legislature passed Act 100 establishing an agricultural school in …

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) began as Branch Normal College, which sought to accommodate the higher-educational needs of Arkansas’s African-American population. UAPB is the alma mater of such notable figures as attorney Wiley Branton Sr., Dr. Samuel Kountz, and attorney John W. Walker. State senator John Middleton Clayton sponsored a legislative act calling for the establishment of Branch Normal College, but it was not until 1875 that the state’s economic situation was secure enough to proceed with it. That year, Branch Normal was established as a branch of Arkansas Industrial University, now the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Its primary objective was educating black students to become teachers for the state’s black schools. Governor …

University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

aka: Clinton School
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service (UACS, or Clinton School), which is the only school in the United States offering a master’s degree in public service (MPS), has the mission of preparing graduates for careers in nonprofit, governmental, volunteer, or private-sector service work. The school is situated in the historic Choctaw Station of the Rock Island Railroad, which is part of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Additional offices and classrooms are in the Arkansas Studies Institute, located in the River Market District of Little Rock. The Clinton School was established by the board of trustees of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) on January 29, 2004, …

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB)

The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) “is a comprehensive community college committed to providing learning experiences that improve the lives of those we serve.” It is one of the fastest-growing community colleges in Arkansas. UACCB was founded in Batesville (Independence County) in 1975 as Gateway Vocational-Technical School, created to provide hands-on technical training and educational opportunities to the residents of Independence County and the surrounding area. According to state Senator Bill Walmsley, the name “Gateway” was chosen “not only because Batesville is the gateway to the White River Basin, but because this school was to be the gateway to education and a better quality of life for people in this area.” Don Tomlinson was the institution’s first …

University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM)

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) developed from a small vocational technical school offering only occupational-specific diplomas into a fast-growing degree-granting college with twenty-four available degree programs of study and over 2,000 credit students served each semester. It serves a six-county area and offers two degree programs that are unique to the state of Arkansas: Associate of Applied Science degrees in surveying and petroleum technology. In 1959, Arkansas’s first postsecondary vocational-technical school had opened in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and it was originally intended to serve the needs of the entire state. However, the Arkansas General Assembly, recognizing the need for expanded vocational education opportunities, provided state funds for the construction and operation of a second postsecondary vocational-technical …

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UACES)

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UACES), an arm of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, offers non-traditional education, bringing university research to Arkansans to help improve their lives. The UACES disseminates information on agricultural production, protection of natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, rural community development, and public issues education. With offices in every county, the UACES provides easy access to information that has practical and immediate application. The UACES state headquarters is in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on land that borders the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Three federal legislative acts, passed during the mid- to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, created the national Agricultural Extension Service …

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock (Pulaski County) is Arkansas’s premier research hospital. UAMS provides the state with a solid foundation of higher learning and financial support. It has a long history of serving the public by providing the indigent with quality healthcare and is one of the largest employers in Arkansas, providing almost 9,000 jobs, many of them professional. To some extent, the history of UAMS is the history of medicine in Arkansas. The Arkansas State Medical Association, formed in 1870, pressed the legislature to allow the legal dissection of cadavers—a major milestone in medical research and education. After the legislature’s approval in 1873, the state’s first dissection, performed by Drs. Lenow and Vickery, …

University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT)

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college that provides the first two years of a traditional college education transferable to four-year colleges and universities, as well as multiple technical and industrial programs. Programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees through distance education and numerous community service and continuing education opportunities. UAHT was founded as Red River Vocational-Technical School in Hope (Hempstead County) in 1965. In 1991, as part of a statewide movement to transform Arkansas’s technical schools into community colleges, the vocational-technical school was placed under the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) and renamed Red River Technical College. In 1995, the Arkansas General Assembly approved legislation that provided for the merger of two-year colleges …

University of Arkansas Museum

The University of Arkansas Museum at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (Washington County) developed from a geology teaching collection begun in 1873 for university students. Housed in Old Main, the collection grew to include not only rocks, minerals, and fossils, but also zoological specimens, cultural and historical objects, and archaeological artifacts, with a particular emphasis on objects and specimens from Arkansas. The collections were then made available to students, researchers, and exhibit designers for use in university classes, for study by researchers, and for exhibit loans. The collections were once on public display at UA but are now only open to researchers and available to loan for other institutions for exhibition and research. Professor Francis L. Harvey was the …