Entries - Entry Type: Group - Starting with N

Nahziryah Monastic Community

aka: Purple People
Nahziryah Monastic Community is a remote esoteric spiritual center located in rural Marion County in the Ozark Mountains. The African-American commune was built by the Reverend Nazirmoreh K. B. Kedem in the mid-1990s on a 100-acre parcel of land as a survivalist compound in preparation for Y2K. By the early 2000s, Kedem had begun to advertise the place as a spiritual retreat center. His initiates had to take strict vows of silence and abstinence under the “Nazir Order of the Purple Veil.” Initiates were required to wear purple clothing, so they were referred to by outsiders as “The Purple People.” Followers agreed to relinquish all possessions, past relations, and birth names. They were prohibited from speaking, except when spoken to …

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

aka: NAACP
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on February 12, 1909, and is America’s oldest civil rights organization. The first local branch in Arkansas was established in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on July 4, 1918. The president was John Hamilton McConico, and the fifty founding members included many of the city’s leading African-American figures of the time, including Joseph Albert Booker, Aldridge E. Bush, Chester E. Bush, George William Stanley Ish, Isaac Taylor Gillam, and John Marshall Robinson. The state was the site of one of the national organization’s early court triumphs: In the case of Moore v. Dempsey (1923), NAACP lawyers won a reprieve from the death penalty for six African-American men on the …

National Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union of America

aka: Southern Farmers' Alliance
aka: Farmers' Alliance
aka: Arkansas State Farmers’ Alliance
The National Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union, more commonly known as the Southern Farmers’ Alliance (or simply the Alliance), began in the mid-to-late 1870s. The organization began spreading eastward through Arkansas and beyond in 1887. By the summer of 1890, it had expanded beyond the South and reported a membership of more than 1,200,000 in twenty-seven states. The Southern Farmers’ Alliance ran cooperative enterprises for its members and put forth a political platform. The group subsequently became active in the third-party movement that culminated in the formation of the People’s (or Populist) Party in 1891–92. Origins and GrowthFarmers and stockmen formed the Southern Farmers’ Alliance in Lampasas County, Texas, as early as 1874 or as late as 1877, according to …

National Grange of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry

aka: The Grange
aka: Arkansas State Grange
aka: Patrons of Husbandry
In December 1867, Oliver Hudson Kelley, a former clerk in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and six other men founded the National Grange of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry in Washington DC. Intended as an organization that would unite farmers for the advancement of their common interests, the Grange claimed more than 760,000 members across the United States by 1875. The Grange entered Arkansas in 1872 and remained active in the state for about two decades. By then, the Grange had given way to larger farmers’ organizations in Arkansas such as the Agricultural Wheel and the Farmers’ Alliance. The National Grange still exists in the twenty-first century, but it has no chapters in Arkansas. Origins, Growth, and PurposesJohn …

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Arkansas

The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA), founded in 1891, is dedicated to furthering an appreciation of the national heritage of the United States through patriotic service, historic preservation, and educational projects. The Arkansas division, one of forty-four corporate societies, was organized in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on January 26, 1898, and admitted into the National Society on April 21, 1898. Cynthia Martin Polk of Little Rock was the organizing president. Members must be direct descendants from an ancestor who resided in an American colony prior to 1750 and who served his or her country in some official capacity during that period and before July 5, 1776. Membership is by invitation only. Since the Spanish-American War, the …

National Youth Administration

The National Youth Administration (NYA) was the last of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs established to address the massive unemployment caused by the Great Depression. It focused on creating employment and education for people aged sixteen to twenty-five who, because of the effects of the Depression, often had neither. Roosevelt created the National Youth Administration by executive order on June 26, 1935, as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) at a time when some 2.9 million American children were in families receiving government relief. The NYA’s goal was to provide funds for part-time work for out-of-school youths from families on the dole; training, counseling, and placement for NYA workers; recreational programs for workers; and student aid for …

Native Americans

Arkansas was home to Native Americans long before Europeans arrived. The first explorers met Indians whose ancestors had occupied the region for thousands of years. These were impressive and well-organized societies, to whom Europeans introduced new technologies, plants, animals, and diseases, setting in motion a process of population loss and cultural change that would continue for centuries. The United States government forced Indians to leave their ancient homelands and attempted—during the nineteenth century—to eradicate Indian traditions altogether. Indian communities persevered and today continue to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. This heritage is an important part of Arkansas history. First Encounters The first encounters between Europeans and Indians living in what is now Arkansas took place in 1541, when Hernando de …

Nature Conservancy of Arkansas

The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas is part of the international Nature Conservancy headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy was incorporated on October 22, 1951, in Washington DC as a nonprofit organization. The Arkansas field office, established on April 12, 1982, became the organization’s twenty-ninth state program. The Arkansas program, which opened with about 250 members and a staff of three, has grown steadily in capacity and achievement. The conservancy now has about 6,000 members in Arkansas (the worldwide membership is about one million) and a staff of more …

Newton County Historical Society

The Newton County Historical Society was founded in December 1953 by a group that included Walter Lackey, Mandy Hickman, and Albert Raney. In 1954, the society’s first official project was to build a monument near Marble Falls (Newton County) to memorialize a quarried stone from that area that had been used in the construction of the Washington Monument in Washington DC. Sometime after 1961, the society dissolved, but it was later revived and reorganized in 1977 by Columbus Vaughan, Jack McCutcheon, Rhonda Teter, Leland Smith, and others. It was incorporated in 1981 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with its purpose being to collect, preserve, promote interest in, and disseminate historical and genealogical material relating to Newton County and the surrounding area. …

Night Riders

aka: Nightriders
aka: Whitecappers
aka: White Cappers
The term “night riding” is frequently synonymous with “whitecapping” or “bald knobbing,” all terms denoting extralegal acts of violence targeting select groups and carried out by vigilantes under cover of night or disguise. Beginning in the 1900s, cotton farmers throughout Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri were often the targets of night riders seeking to intimidate farmers into selling their crops at higher prices than offered by the big agricultural companies. However, many instances of night riding had racial overtones that hearkened back to the days of the post-Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Cotton men of the state had formed the Arkansas Farmers Union in the early 1900s in order to stabilize the price of cotton, but when cotton prices fell …

Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was the name of several separate units that served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. The earliest unit organized that became known as the Nineteenth Arkansas mustered in at Nashville (Howard County) in November 1861. The ten companies of the regiment were raised in Pike, Polk, Sevier, and Scott counties. The unit became known as Dawson’s Nineteenth to distinguish it from other regiments with the same number and in honor of its first colonel, C. L. Dawson. While present at the Battle of Pea Ridge, the regiment did not see any action. One of the few units not to move east of the Mississippi River after the battle, the Nineteenth Arkansas served in …

Ninth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Ninth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. The regiment was created on July 20, 1861, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Comprising mainly companies from southeastern Arkansas, the regiment had units from Drew, Jefferson, Bradley, and Ashley counties. The one company not from that corner of the state hailed from Mississippi County. The elected colonel of the unit was John Bradley, a lawyer and Methodist minister. The unit moved across the Mississippi River, first to Memphis and later to Union City, Tennessee, before entering Kentucky. During the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, the Ninth Arkansas was in reserve at Columbus, Kentucky, on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River. …

North Little Rock Six

The North Little Rock Six were six African-American students who attempted to desegregate North Little Rock High School on September 9, 1957. Two years earlier, the North Little Rock School Board voted to begin integrating classes at the twelfth-grade level; however, after Arkansas governor Orval E. Faubus publicly stated opposition to the integration of Little Rock Central High School and summoned the Arkansas National Guard to the school on September 2, 1957, the directors of the North Little Rock School Board put a halt to their integration plan. Seven seniors from the all-black Scipio Jones High School initially registered to attend North Little Rock High for the 1957–58 school year, but only six students attempted to enroll. They were Richard …

Northwest Arkansas Writers

Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop of the Springdale (Washington County) and Fayetteville (Washington County) area is dedicated to helping aspiring writers learn their craft and succeed in their chosen field of writing. It welcomes writers from all genres of fiction and nonfiction. The group got its start in 1986 when Dusty Richards, Velda Brotherton, Judy Ballard, and Charlie Pierson began meeting in each other’s homes once a week to learn more about the craft of writing. They gathered and shared information, and others joined. There has never been a membership fee, and no officers are elected. Every year, the group takes up a collection to sponsor a writing contest at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and …