Entries - Entry Type: Group

Arkansas Forestry Association

The Arkansas Forestry Association (AFA) is a private association of firms and individuals in the forestry industry. The focus of the association is on those who grow trees, both corporate and individual growers. The corporate growers may be integrated both upstream (a business term meaning closer to the point of manufacture or production than to the point sale) and downstream (meaning closer to the point of sale). Downstream is most common as the corporate growers are often wood processors or paper makers. Some corporate growers are integrated upstream, providing such things as management services, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, seedling trees, and logging machinery. The Arkansas Forestry Association Education Foundation, Inc. (AFAEF) is part of the private Arkansas Forestry Association. The primary …

Arkansas Forestry Commission

The Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) was established by Act 234 of 1931 and amended by Act 48 of 1939. Its initial responsibilities included fire control, education in fire safety, and forest management. Its activities have expanded to include oversight of rural and volunteer fire departments, disaster response, assistance with private land management, tree seedling nurseries and genetics, educational programs for the Arkansas public schools, urban forestry, and participation in events such as Arbor Day and Earth Day throughout the state. As of 2011, the Arkansas Forestry Commission has nine district offices statewide and smaller offices in almost every county in Arkansas. With the passage of Act 1978 of 2005, the Arkansas Forestry Commission was combined with the Arkansas State Plant …

Arkansas Genealogical Society

The Arkansas Genealogical Society, Inc., Arkansas’s only statewide genealogical organization, was organized in Fayetteville (Washington County) on May 4–5, 1962, in response to a call by the Washington County Historical Society. Under the guidance of the longtime editor of its quarterly, Flashback, Professor Walter J. Lemke of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville, this organization took the lead in collecting Arkansas genealogical data for many years. However, by 1962, growing interest in this hobby had overwhelmed its limited resources, and a decision was made to call for the formation of a statewide genealogical society to take over this work. Drawing upon the resources of this local group, volunteers published the first issue of the Arkansas Family Historian, Arkansas’s first …

Arkansas General Assembly

aka: State Legislature
aka: Arkansas State Legislature
aka: General Assembly
aka: Arkansas House of Representatives
aka: Arkansas Senate
aka: Arkansas Legislature
The Arkansas General Assembly is the legislative body governing the state of Arkansas. Since statehood in 1836, Arkansas has been governed by five constitutional charters. Under each charter, the composition and powers of the Arkansas General Assembly has changed. Since the adoption of the 1874 constitution, the most recent one, multiple amendments have altered the body’s operations as well. According to the 1836 constitution, members of the state House of Representatives had to be at least twenty-five years of age, and members of the state Senate had to be thirty. Under this constitution, members had to be white males and had to have resided in the state for at least one year. The Arkansas General Assembly was to meet every …

Arkansas Highway Police

The Arkansas Highway Police is the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in Arkansas and serves as the law enforcement branch of the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The duties of the agency have changed over time, but the emphasis remains on protection of the state’s highway and transportation system. The Highway Police is overseen by an agency director with the rank of chief. The chief serves at the pleasure of the director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation. The Highway Police’s main headquarters are located in Little Rock (Pulaski County) next to the central office of the Department of Transportation. The Highway Police is divided into five districts, each of which is commanded by an officer with the rank of captain. …

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP) is the state agency charged with preserving the buildings, sites, neighborhoods, and structures that constitute the state’s built heritage. The agency’s genesis can be traced to the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act, which created a national preservation program, required state preservation activities, and provided funding for state historic preservation programs. Following a failed attempt to create a state program in 1967, the Arkansas General Assembly in 1969 created the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, funded by the transfer of $20,000 from the moribund Stonewall Jackson Memorial Board. In 1969, the primary activities of the agency were those for which federal funds were available—the identification, evaluation, and documentation of historic properties. This effort comprises the Arkansas …

Arkansas Historical Association (AHA)

The Arkansas Historical Association (AHA) is dedicated to maintaining an active statewide historical group involving all aspects of Arkansas’s history. The association holds annual conferences and publishes the Arkansas Historical Quarterly (AHQ). Headquartered at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), which partially underwrites the expenses of the organization, the AHA assists historians and educators in Arkansas in preserving and interpreting the history of the state. In 1903, John Hugh Reynolds, professor of history at UA, and a group of his students formed the Arkansas Historical Society, the forerunner of the AHA. The group soon realized that a continually changing student body made membership problematic and reorganized to become the first AHA. James Kimbrough Jones served as president. …

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is a nonprofit collaborative network of more than 400 hunger relief organizations across Arkansas working to alleviate hunger in the state. Members include the Arkansas Foodbank in Little Rock (Pulaski County), Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas in Jonesboro (Craighead County), Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank in Texarkana (Miller County), Food Bank of North Central Arkansas in Norfork (Baxter County), Northwest Arkansas Food Bank in Bethel Heights (Benton County), and River Valley Regional Food Bank in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), as well as numerous food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Arkansas has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the nation. More than twenty-eight percent of Arkansas families with children experience food insecurity on …

Arkansas Insurance Department (AID)

The purpose of the Arkansas Insurance Department (AID) is to protect the public interest by the equitable enforcement of the state’s laws and regulations affecting the insurance industry. In addition, the AID seeks to deter and prosecute fraud. The work of the AID was formerly placed by law in the office of the Auditor of the State. The “Insurance Bureau” (as it was originally known) was established in the auditor’s office by Act 106 of 1873, the auditor being charged by the same act (approved on April 25, 1873) with the execution of the laws of the state relating to insurance. Due to the greatly increased volume of work required of the Insurance Bureau, the Arkansas General Assembly of 1917, …

Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference

The Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) was an athletic confederation of Arkansas colleges and universities that was formed in 1928 as the Arkansas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The AIC was affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which was headquartered at Kansas City, Missouri. Most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities were members of the AIC at one time or another during its existence, with what are now Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) among the original members. The league disbanded in the spring of 1995. During most of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the AIC consisted of five state schools and five private schools. The state schools …

Arkansas Legislative Audit

Arkansas Legislative Audit (ALA) examines the books and records of state agencies and political subdivisions to report on their financial condition and compliance with law. Established in 1953 by the Arkansas General Assembly, ALA is an agency located within the legislative branch of Arkansas state government, reporting to the forty-four-member Legislative Joint Auditing Committee (LJAC), a legislative committee composed of both senators and state representatives. Originally, ALA was created to audit state agencies and institutions. In 1969, overriding Governor Winthrop Rockefeller’s veto, the legislature enacted a law transferring authority to audit counties, municipalities, and school districts from the executive branch to ALA. ALA conducts over 1,000 engagements annually, including audits, special reports, and investigative reports. These engagements examine the state’s …

Arkansas Legislative Council

aka: Legislative Council
The Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) is arguably the most powerful committee of the Arkansas General Assembly. The ALC wields considerable power between legislative sessions, and seats on the council remain highly sought after. Accusations have sometimes been made that the council has taken too much power and that it is violating its charter. Act 192 of 1947 created the Arkansas Legislative Council committee to collect data for the legislature to use during the regular biennial session of the General Assembly; modifications to the council were implemented the following session with Act 264 of 1949. The ALC oversees the Bureau of Legislative Research, which provides support services to all members of the legislature. The ALC consists of thirty-six regular members; the …

Arkansas Library Association

The Arkansas Library Association (ArLA) is a statewide organization created to further the professional development of all library staff members; to foster communication and cooperation among librarians, trustees, and friends of libraries; to increase the visibility of libraries among the general public and funding agencies; and to serve as an advocate for librarians and libraries. Organized on January 26, 1911, in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the association was created as part of an effort to encourage the legislature to support increasing funding for public libraries. Led by the Little Rock Public Library and the Fort Smith Public Library, the new organization had additional members from Arkadelphia (Clark County), Conway (Faulkner County), Helena (Phillips County), and Waldron (Scott County). Early efforts …

Arkansas Literacy Councils (ALC)

The mission of Arkansas Literacy Councils (ALC), located in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is to “Empower Arkansas through Literacy” by supporting local, nonprofit literacy councils throughout the state. The councils recruit and train volunteers from the community to tutor adults who want to improve their basic reading, writing, and math skills. The National Literacy Act (Public Law 102-73 of July 25, 1991) defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, and speak English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential.” Exact numbers on illiteracy rates are difficult to calculate because of the extent to which adults consider themselves …

Arkansas Living History Association

The Arkansas Living History Association (ALHA) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing living history in Arkansas. Its inception was in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in 2007, when those working and volunteering in the field of living history felt a need to form an organization that would advance living history interpretation as an educational tool throughout the state. While living history does not have an agreed-upon definition, it can be described as bringing a visual and auditory context to the interpretation of historical events, activities, dress, or everyday life of the people or time represented in an effort to make history more relatable. By bringing in authentic tools, foodways, clothing, etc., living historians can visually complement academic, personal, or …

Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission

The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission was created by Act 1216 of 1993. It is an offshoot of the Martin Luther King Federal Holiday Commission and was established under Governor Bill Clinton by an executive order to promote the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The purpose of the commission is to promote racial harmony, understanding, community service, respect, and goodwill among citizens, and an awareness and appreciation of the civil rights movement; to advocate the principles and the legacy of Dr. King; and to develop, coordinate, and advise the governor and Arkansas General Assembly of ceremonies and activities throughout the state relating to the observance of Dr. King’s holiday. The commission receives funding from state general revenue, …

Arkansas Medical Society

The Arkansas Medical Society (AMS), founded in 1875, describes itself as the premier professional organization for Arkansas physicians. The AMS supports physicians and seeks to improve the delivery of healthcare services. In 1847, American allopathic physicians—that is, those within the regular medical mainstream—organized the American Medical Association (AMA) to promote medical educational and ethical standards. Established in the early 1840s, the Crawford County Medical Society was Arkansas’s earliest allopathic medical organization. Organized in 1870, the Arkansas State Medical Association (ASMA) was the first state organization for regular physicians. In 1873, a disagreement that divided the Little Rock and Pulaski County Medical Society members contributed to the ASMA’s eventual dissolution. At a meeting held in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1875, …

Arkansas Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association

The Arkansas Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association (AMDPA) was founded in 1893 by a group of African-American medical professionals. Barred from joining local white medical societies and the American Medical Association (AMA), black medical professionals organized their own local associations and national organization. Trained medical providers began moving into the Arkansas Territory around 1820. In the early 1880s, and in concert with trends in other states, several black physicians organized their own “Colored Medical Association.” These medical professionals were not only interested in the mutual recognition and fraternity offered by the organization; they were also genuinely concerned about the poor state of health among African Americans and the failure of white physicians to adequately address these healthcare needs. In 1893, …

Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN)

The Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) is a program located on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). Each November, hundreds of high school students and teachers from the state of Arkansas and neighboring states attend the AMUN conference as representatives (delegates) of member-states of the United Nations (UN). The delegates participate in simulations of the UN General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, International Court of Justice, and other UN bodies. The AMUN was formally established by Professor Simms McClintock and several students at UCA, then known as Arkansas State Teachers College (ASTC), in the fall of 1966. McClintock, who had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, earned a …

Arkansas Mounted Rifles [Civil War]

After Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861, state troops were mustered into the Confederate army in early July. Among them were two regiments, the First and Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles. These two regiments were formed into a brigade of Arkansas units under the command of Brigadier General Ben McCulloch, who oversaw the organization of these two special regiments at a rendezvous point near Bentonville (Benton County). He intended to use the Arkansas Mounted Rifles as a unique battalion that could not only ride with regular cavalry on horseback but also dismount and fight as infantry. McCulloch also felt that the Arkansas Mounted Rifles would make excellent scouts, given their familiarity with the territory. Their duties in the …

Arkansas Mounted Rifles [Mexican War]

The Arkansas Mounted Rifles was a regiment of volunteers from the state who participated in the Mexican War as part of the U.S. Army. Many of its officers and men came from the upper reaches of Arkansas society, and members of the unit would be involved in the state for years to come. With the outbreak of war in the spring of 1846, Arkansas was asked by the federal government to provide two units for service with the U.S. Army. An infantry battalion of Arkansas volunteers would be used to man forts in the Indian Territory and at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), releasing the regular troops from those posts, and a second unit of Arkansans would serve as cavalry in …

Arkansas Municipal League

The Arkansas Municipal League, established in 1934, has 500 members, encompassing all of the state’s incorporated municipalities. Member cities and towns have year-round services from the league, and though league membership is voluntary, all 500 incorporated cities and towns in the state have elected to become members. The league was created to assist cities by providing information and representing cities before higher levels of government, such as the state and nation. Cities pay dues based on a sliding scale and also pay fees for direct services. The impetus for forming the league came from mayors and chambers of commerce. Larger cities could afford to interact directly with higher levels of government, but smaller cities realized they needed to organize to …

Arkansas Museums Association

The Arkansas Museums Association (AMA) is an organization of museums and museum personnel dedicated to the promotion of professional standards in Arkansas museums, the encouragement of interaction among members, and the development of public support for—and interest in—Arkansas museums. The AMA is governed by a board of directors, elected by its members. The board consists of a president, vice president (also the president-elect), immediate past president, secretary, treasurer, two representatives from each of the AMA’s four districts, a membership director, and a communications director. The Arkansas Museums Association was founded in 1966. Arkansans working with historical, artistic, and cultural organizations realized the need for a state association to advance the goals of the museum community. Peg Newton Smith, wife of …

Arkansas Mycological Society

The purpose of the Arkansas Mycological Society (AMS) is to educate its members in the differences between—and the similarities that occur within—edible, inedible, and poisonous mushrooms and other fungi that occur in Arkansas and to promote overall interest in Arkansas’s mushrooms and fungi. In the fall of 1980, Edith Nelson and Jay Justice, who had both recently joined the North American Mycological Society (NAMA), delivered a presentation on mushrooms and fungi at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Edith Nelson (who died in 2004) was a retired high school teacher who had taught history and math, and Jay Justice was a chemist employed at what was at the time the Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology (now the Arkansas Department of …

Arkansas National Guard

aka: Arkansas Department of the Military
The Arkansas National Guard consists of the Arkansas Army National Guard and the Arkansas Air National Guard. The Arkansas Guard is commanded by the adjutant general, who is appointed by the governor. While some guard members work full time in their military jobs, most have full-time civilian careers. They conduct their military training a minimum of one weekend a month and an additional fifteen days a year. The Arkansas National Guard and its militia predecessor have furnished troops for every war the United States has fought except Vietnam, when the federal government called few National Guard units into active duty. The Arkansas National Guard and the Arkansas Army National Guard headquarters are at Camp Robinson near North Little Rock (Pulaski …

Arkansas Native Plant Society

The Arkansas Native Plant Society (ANPS) was established in 1980 to promote, first, the preservation, conservation, study, and enjoyment of the native plants of Arkansas; second, the education of the public regarding the value of native plants and their habitats; and, third, the publication of related information. Regular meetings are held in the spring and fall of each year to conduct business, give presentations, and embark on field trips. The ANPS newsletter, Claytonia, is published preceding the spring and fall meetings. On November 17, 1979, consideration to form ANPS took place at the annual Arkansas Biological Curriculum Development Conference on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). In a session discussing endangered plants, the …

Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council

The Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council (ANCRC) was created by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1987 to manage and supervise a grants-and-trust fund for the acquisition, management, and stewardship of state-owned properties. ANCRC focuses upon projects that protect and maintain state-owned buildings, historic sites, natural areas, and outdoor recreation areas. The grants are funded through the state’s real estate transfer tax. Two increases were enacted in the real estate transfer tax to fund the grants—the original increase authorized by Act 729 of 1987 from $1.10 to $2.20 for each $1,000 of the purchase price, and an additional increase authorized by Act 1181 of 1993 to $3.30 for each $1,000 of the purchase price. In addition to funding the ANCRC Grants …

Arkansas Negro Democratic Association (ANDA)

The Arkansas Negro Democratic Association (ANDA) was founded in 1928 by Little Rock (Pulaski County) physician John Marshall Robinson, who served as president until 1952, and a number of other prominent black professionals. Between 1928 and 1952, ANDA was the leading voice of black Arkansas Democrats in the state. Although ANDA tackled a number of issues concerned with racial discrimination, its principal focus was on winning the right for black citizens to participate in the activities of the Arkansas Democratic Party, especially its primary elections. In Arkansas, the payment of a one-dollar poll tax qualified a person to vote, irrespective of race. But exclusion from state Democratic Party primary elections significantly disfranchised black voters since that party dominated state politics. …

Arkansas Peace Society

The Arkansas Peace Society was a loose affiliation of local anti-Confederate groups that formed in response to Arkansas’s secession from the Union. These groups operated like secret societies in several north Arkansas counties until late in 1861, when local militias and the Confederate government of the state began carrying out large-scale arrests of perceived traitors in the region. The Arkansas Peace Society was quickly broken up, though north Arkansas contributed approximately ninety percent of soldiers from the state who fought for the Union, while jayhawkers and bushwhackers also roamed the area with some intensity. The upland counties of northern Arkansas, where slavery was not a major component of the local economy, contained a large number of people opposed to the …

Arkansas Pioneer Branch of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW)

The Arkansas Pioneer Branch of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) was created to bring together professional women artists, writers, and composers for the protection and sharing of their mutual interests. The Arkansas Branch was the ninth branch to join the National League. The Arkansas Branch, as it was first called, was founded by Bernie Babcock in 1920 with seven charter members. The group’s mission has been identical to that of the National League, which was founded in 1897 in Washington DC, with the purpose of encouraging creative work in art, letters, and music and promoting professional growth of members. The charter of the Arkansas Branch was presented at the first national NLAPW meeting in 1921. Babcock was …

Arkansas Pioneers Association

The Arkansas Pioneers Association is an organization devoted to projects and events regarding the history of Arkansas up to 1850. Those who want to join must be citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry in Arkansas from 1850 and before. Harriet Woodruff Jabine, daughter of Arkansas Gazette founder William E. Woodruff, established the Arkansas Pioneers Association in September 1911. For a brief time in 1912, the association took residence in the west wing of what is now the Old State House. Jabine declared its mission to be “to honor and preserve the tradition of our Arkansas Pioneer ancestors and to quicken and preserve the spirit of Arkansas Patriotism.” It was formally organized on March 7, 1912. On …

Arkansas Political Science Association

The Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) is a professional, membership-based organization of college and university professors and students in the subjects of political science, public administration, public policy, and related academic disciplines in the state of Arkansas. The membership of the ArkPSA has also included practitioners and other professionals with an interest in international, national, state, and local government and politics. The ArkPSA holds an annual two-day meeting during which scholars present the results of their research on topics related to government and politics. The annual meetings, which also include roundtable discussions on topics of interest to the membership, have been held at various college and university campuses and other locations around the state. The ArkPSA was formally established during …

Arkansas Press Association

The Arkansas Press Association was established on October 15, 1873, “to promote the interests of the press by securing unity of thought and action in relation to the profession of journalism and the business of publishing, to elevate its tone, purify its expressions, enlarge its usefulness, advance it in wisdom and justice, extend its influence in the work of true civilization, and to cultivate friendly relations and a spirit of fraternal regard among its members.” It is the oldest trade association in Arkansas. The first meeting of the Arkansas Press Association was held in Little Rock (Pulaski County), with James Torrans of the Little Rock Republican serving as chairman of the call. The seventeen charter members were from all parts …

Arkansas Press Women

Founded in 1949, Arkansas Press Women (APW), initially called the Arkansas Newspaper Women’s Association, is a nonprofit professional association open to both men and women pursuing careers in communications. Among those eligible for membership are people in the fields of business, education, government, journalism, and public information. Membership is open to those who communicate in a variety of areas, including broadcasting and electronic media as well as print. Their common thread is a commitment to the rights expressed in the First Amendment, particularly freedom of the press. Within the APW organization, there are professional, retired, and student membership categories. The twenty-six women who were founding members of the organization were interested in promoting professionalism among journalists. APW’s founders and early …

Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is an affiliate of the national Society of Professional Journalists, whose mission statement states that it is “dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.” The national chapter was founded in 1909 as a journalistic fraternity known as Sigma Delta Chi. It was renamed the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in 1988. The state chapter was chartered on December 15, 1961, as the Little Rock Professional Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi. Its fourteen charter members included J. N. Heiskell, publisher of the Arkansas Gazette, and Ernie Deane, who was known for his “Arkansas Traveler” column in the Gazette and later became …

Arkansas Public Policy Panel

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel (APPP) is a statewide nonprofit organization based in Little Rock (Pulaski County). The mission of the APPP is to “achieve social and economic justice by organizing citizen groups around the state, educating and supporting them to be more effective and powerful, and linking them with one another in coalitions and networks” and to “bring balance to the public policy process in Arkansas.” The APPP grew out of an organization founded in 1963 as the Little Rock Panel of American Women (PAW). This group of volunteers, organized by Sara Murphy, spoke to community groups, relaying personal stories of the impact of discrimination on their lives in support of racial and religious diversity. As the organization grew, …

Arkansas Research Alliance

A public/private economic-development organization, the nonprofit Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) was established in 2008 with start-up funding from the State of Arkansas through the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA). The organization evolved from the efforts of Accelerate Arkansas and its strategic plan of 2007. The ARA is modeled after the successful Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) that began under the leadership of Georgia governor Zell Miller in the early 1990s. The ARA’s primary focus is recruiting and retaining leadership in key research areas in which Arkansas has strong core competencies with long-term economic-development potential. The ARA has five university members: the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock (Pulaski County), the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville …

Arkansas Right to Life

Arkansas Right to Life is a nonprofit organization whose stated purpose is to “educate through the presentation of detailed and factual information about fetal development, abortion, alternatives to abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and related issues, upon which individuals and the general public may make informed decisions.” The organization is mainly known for its stance against abortion, but members also actively oppose stem-cell research, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. Arkansas Right to Life is a state affiliate of National Right to Life, which was founded in 1968. The Arkansas chapter was officially incorporated as a nonprofit public organization in 1974, the year after the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion in the United States. National Right to Life and …

Arkansas River Blues Society

The Arkansas River Blues Society (ARBS), based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), began its life as the Arkansas Blues Connection (ABC) in June 1984 as Arkansas’s first chapter of the National Blues Foundation. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, the National Blues Foundation seeks to “preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of the uniquely American art form.” The Arkansas River Blues Society seeks to preserve the legacy of Arkansas blues and to provide a place for budding musicians to keep the blues alive. What became the Arkansas River Blues Society began in a Little Rock blues club. A group of local blues enthusiasts—including John Craig, Steve Logan, Jeff Weeden, and …

Arkansas River Valley Area Council (ARVAC)

When President Lyndon Johnson took office in 1963, he declared war on poverty. The nation’s poverty rate was at nineteen percent. Over the course of his term, he initiated more than 200 bills and ushered in many of the federal programs active today, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, early Head Start programs, a host of rural and small-business loan programs, and the VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program. One of the most successful of these VISTA programs is the Arkansas River Valley Area Council (ARVAC), an agency continuing to serve a low-income citizens in a nine-county region in rural central Arkansas. The VISTA program was created with the passage of the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act, which also gave …

Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA)

The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA) was created in 1983. Its mission is to bring the benefits of science and advanced technology to Arkansas. The legislation creating the authority was based on the growing interest in replicating the technology-based economies of Boston, Massachusetts; California’s Silicon Valley; and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For most states, the justification for establishing mechanisms similar to Arkansas’s was faith that investment in science and technology would lead to the creation of high-tech jobs. The first programs were implemented in 1986, and more have been added. The programs are grouped into three broad categories: research and commercialization, technology and manufacturing extension, and management services. In the research programs, ASTA provides funds and technical support …

Arkansas Securities Department

Securities regulation in the United States started with state laws known as Blue Sky Laws, the first one enacted in Kansas in 1911. Arkansas enacted its first such law in 1913. Administration of that law was initially put under the Insurance Commissioner but almost immediately moved to the Bank Commissioner. Securities regulation remained under the auspices of the Bank Commissioner until the passage of Act 254 of 1959, the Arkansas Securities Act, which still governs securities regulation in the twenty-first century. The act created the position of Securities Commissioner as the head of the Securities Division of the State Bank Department, who reported to the Bank Commissioner. In 1973, the Arkansas General Assembly removed the Securities Division from the Bank …

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches

Arkansas Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch, Inc., was founded in 1976 as an exclusively charitable and educational organization for “the prevention of cruelty to boys, by providing a home, ranch, and training school for underprivileged boys.” The organization was created to provide a non-governmental residential childcare program for boys from all Arkansas counties. Today, Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Inc., provides residential and non-residential services to both boys and girls. The organization was incorporated on January 6, 1976, after two years of planning. In the early 1970s, a group of sheriffs asked the seventy-five-member Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association (ASA) to help develop a children’s home that would rely on the generosity of Arkansans. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, some of these sheriffs …

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) had its beginnings in 1979 as part of the former Industrial Research and Extension Center. Originally named the Arkansas Small Business Development Center, it has been a separate entity since the mid-1980s, when it was transferred to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), where it has become more comprehensive. The center is now a part of UALR’s College of Business in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business and Economic Development. In addition to this central office, ASBTDC has six regional offices, all linked to universities. The 2003 annual report sets out the center’s mission: to provide quality consulting, training, research, and technology services to the small-business community through …

Arkansas Soft Pine Bureau (ASPB)

Founded in 1912 by executives of a dozen prominent Arkansas timber firms, the Arkansas Soft Pine Bureau (ASPB) spent decades promoting its members’ southern pine lumber. American Lumberman ad salesman Robert H. Brooks originally conceived of the ASPB, using his previous experience with these firms to convince them to try a one-year advertising campaign funded by an assessment of five cents per 1,000 board feet of lumber manufactured in their Arkansas mills. The first ASPB advertisements appeared in October 1912 and proved successful enough that, by the spring of 1913, the ASPB principals initiated a national campaign and coined the term “Arkansas Soft Pine”—a description patented in 1921 as a registered trademark. Brooks, a Kansan with previous experience in the …

Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board

Arkansas ranks in the top ten of U.S. states for soybean production. Products made from soybeans can be found in almost every aisle of the supermarket and even in most hardware stores. Soybeans, sometimes called “miracle beans,” deliver essential nutrients and high-quality protein to people and farm animals. The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board was established to support this important industry in the state. Act 259 of the 1971 Arkansas General Assembly established the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board to provide producers in the state with an organization that works to improve the soybean industry. The board consists of nine unpaid soybean producers nominated by various agricultural organizations within Arkansas (including the Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Arkansas Soybean Association, the Agricultural Council …

Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of sports in Arkansas while honoring those who have played or coached in the state. The organization began in February 1958 when a group of prominent Arkansas businessmen began discussing the need for such an entity. On August 16, 1958, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame was incorporated, with Little Rock (Pulaski County) construction executive Jack Pickens as its president. Pickens was the force behind the Hall of Fame in its early years, serving as president from 1958 to 1971. Other officers in 1958 were Milton Green as vice president, Cliff Shaw as treasurer, Warren Wood as legal counsel, and Allan Berry as secretary. The first …

Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce

aka: Associated Industries of Arkansas (AIA)
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas (AIA) was founded in 1928. Almost immediately, it became the foremost private organization for the promotion of economic interests, and the state chamber established research agencies and agencies to promote its interests to public bodies. After World War II, business leaders saw the need for a coordinated effort to develop the state’s economy. Each region had unique attributes and needed local development groups. The state chamber was to be the body coordinating the efforts of the various local chambers organized along city or county lines. Associated Industries of Arkansas, the purpose of which was to provide political support to business and industrial interests, was organized at the same …

Arkansas State Guard

The Arkansas State Guard was a military force that performed homeland defense, disaster relief, and search-and-rescue duties during World War II while the Arkansas National Guard was in federal service. From 1942 to 1946, this volunteer military force helped fight floods along the Arkansas and Ouachita rivers, looked for missing persons, and assisted in recovery efforts following devastating tornadoes around the state. The State Guard was authorized by Act 85 of 1929 of the Arkansas General Assembly, which allowed for its organization whenever at least seventy-five percent of the Arkansas National Guard was called into federal service. The need for this type of unit was proven during World War I when, after the three Arkansas National Guard regiments were federalized, …

Arkansas State Horticultural Society (ASHS)

The Arkansas State Horticultural Society (ASHS) is a horticultural crop producers’ organization whose primary purpose is to provide its members, through annual meetings, with information to enhance their horticultural enterprises. The Arkansas State Horticultural Society was formally organized on May 24, 1879, by nineteen men meeting in the council chamber of the city of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The organizers were engaged in horticultural pursuits and were aware of a growing interest in horticultural crops being grown on lands adjacent to the land-grant railroads then expanding through Arkansas. News of the May 24 meeting was published in area papers, extending an invitation for all interested to attend. The object of the society is “to collect and disseminate information relative to …