...and April Fools' Day

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Entries - Entry Category: ...and April Fools' Day - Starting with B

Bartleby Clown College

Bartleby Clown College in Jonesboro (Craighead County) was a short-lived institution for the training of clowns and other circus performers. Though it lasted only seven years, it contributed to the increasing professionalism of the clowning field and directly led to the creation of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1968. Bartleby Clown College also inspired the creation of the Fool’s Guild in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of fantasy novels. Bartleby Clown College was established in an abandoned warehouse in Jonesboro by the Southern States’ Conference on Clowning (SSCC) on April 1, 1952. The conference had long been looking to establish a training institution. It chose Jonesboro because the city, having extensive rail connections, was already a …

Boll Eevil

Boll Eevil is a 1973 horror movie set in Monticello (Drew County). Although poorly received at the time of its release, the movie’s central theme, regarding the dangers of ongoing capitalist exploitation of nature, reflected broader trends in the horror genre of the decade. Boll Eevil opens with a local farmer, James McCoy, riding out into his cotton field at dawn only to find his entire crop devastated by a sudden boll weevil infestation. Back in his laboratory at Arkansas A&M College in Monticello, Dr. Aaron Heidelburg, a renowned entomologist, receives an urgent visit from state official Henry Buckner, who offers funding for Heidelburg if he can develop some method of eliminating the boll weevil menace, which is on track …

Brownwater Rafting

“Brownwater Rafting” was the name given to the short-lived and ill-advised promotion of eastern Arkansas’s rivers, streams, and bayous as rafting and kayaking hotspots. Despite these efforts, eastern Arkansas’s more sedentary and sedimentary waterways, such as the Cache River, proved unpopular with tourists and whitewater enthusiasts. The failure of the project led to investigations of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT) and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC)—the two state agencies that had spent millions of dollars on the promotional campaign. State promotion of what came to be known as brownwater rafting followed in the wake of the successful 1994 motion picture The River Wild, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon, which had reignited interest in whitewater …