Issues and Controversies

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Entries - Entry Category: Issues and Controversies - Starting with M

March on Religious Freedom (1993)

aka: March on Fort God
In summer 1993 in northeastern Arkansas, three teenagers, later known as the West Memphis Three, were arrested for the murders of three children in West Memphis (Crittenden County). After a long history of anti-occult prejudice and paranoia, the “satanic panic” of the 1980s caused the community to be wary of those who associated themselves with occult behavior. On the heels of the media spectacle surrounding the murders and the arrests of the teenagers, a thirty-eight-year-old Jonesboro (Craighead County) native became the target of religious discrimination and later led a march through the city that was known widely as the March on Religious Freedom, though some locals called it the “March on Fort God.” A practicing Wiccan since June 1991, Terry …

Mountain Meadows Massacre

In April 1857, near Harrison (Boone County), 120 to 150 settlers, mostly Arkansans, started a journey toward the promise of a better life in California. Before they could reach their destination, a party of Mormons and Indians attacked them while they camped on a plateau known as Mountain Meadows in southern Utah. All of the travelers died except for seventeen children, who were taken into Mormon homes. Beyond this information, little can be agreed upon, from the number of victims to who was responsible. About forty families, composed mainly of Arkansans from Marion, Crawford, Carroll, and Johnson counties, met at Beller’s Stand just south of Harrison. This migration was known by several names, including the Baker train and the Perkins train, …