Overview

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Health and Medicine

Arkansas long had a reputation for being sickly because much of the state supported large mosquito populations, carrying malaria, yellow fever, and other diseases. Modern medicine, a largely nineteenth-century creation, arrived late, and throughout the twentieth century, diseases eradicated elsewhere continued to flourish. Only after World War II did sharp improvements in health occur, but the Delta lagged far behind. Problems in health and medical programs were compounded in part because many Arkansans deliberately engaged in forms of risky behavior such as tobacco use and unhealthy diets. Prehistoric Arkansas The first settlers more than 10,000 years ago brought to the New World only a few major illnesses. One was tuberculosis, evidence of which is visible in bones from burial sites. …

Historic Preservation

Arkansas has an active preservation community with a notable success record in saving buildings, sites, and neighborhoods. The tools successfully used in Arkansas were developed on the national stage and successfully transplanted to the state. The first preservation achievements were the result of strong individual leadership focused on saving landmark buildings. The first major success was what is now called the Old State House (Arkansas’s first state capitol building), which was constructed beginning in 1833. It remained the capitol until 1911, when construction of the present Arkansas State Capitol was sufficiently completed for occupancy. Since 1901, the legislature and the governor had debated the idea of selling the old building once it was vacated. This proposal garnered serious attention again …