Entry Type: Thing - Starting with I

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings [Book and Movie]

Detailing her childhood in Stamps (Lafayette County), as well as in St. Louis, and San Francisco, Maya Angelou’s autobiographical novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was first published in 1970 by Random House and nominated for a National Book Award. It was the first of a series of eight autobiographical novels that cemented her place as one of the great voices of African-American literature. The title of the book comes from the poem “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, which describes perseverance in the face of oppression. The book chronicles the racism Maya, a young incarnation of Angelou, encountered in the segregated town of Stamps and other places she lived, along with the sexual abuse she faced at the …

I-30 Speedway

The I-30 Speedway is a high-banked, quarter-mile, red clay, oval auto racing track located in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on Interstate 30 near the border with Saline County. As the heart of central Arkansas auto racing, the I-30 Speedway hosts Weekly Racing Series Events on Saturday nights from the second week in March through the last week in October, with special events held throughout the season. The track is open for sprint, mini-sprint, stock, modified, and other forms of dirt track racing. Events include races affiliated with the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR), and the Mid-South Racing Association (MSRA). The track’s signature event, the Short Track Nationals for Sprint Cars in October, pays $15,000 to …

I. F. Anderson Farms

aka: I. F. Anderson Minnow Farms
aka: Anderson Minnow Farm
aka: Anderson’s Minnow Farm
I. F. Anderson’s Farms, Inc., is located just west of Lonoke (Lonoke County). The farm includes about 322 kilometers (200 miles) of levees that impound 3,400 acres of ponds accessed via a “checkerboard” pattern of levee roads. It boasts as the world’s largest minnow (baitfish) farm, providing a bounty of golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucus). As the premier fish farm in the nation, it produces over one billion shiners each year. The I. F. (Fay) Anderson family initially dug and stocked its first farm ponds in Lonoke in 1949. James Neal Anderson and his son Jamie Anderson are fourth-generation owners. The 11,000-square-foot hatchery facility is capable of producing over one billion fry per season and can accommodate five million pounds of …

I’m from Arkansas

With a screenplay by Marcy Klauber and Joseph Carole (based on a story by Klauber), director Lew Landers attempted to blend romance, rustic Ozark comedy, and country music into the 1944 film I’m from Arkansas. Unfortunately, some of the Arkansas characters are portrayed as ignorant hillbillies, and the numerous musical numbers tend to muddle the story line. The plot centers upon Esmeralda, a sow, who has excited the tiny town of Pitchfork, Arkansas, by giving birth to yet another massive litter of piglets. The news quickly spreads and draws a number of visitors to the town for myriad reasons. Bob Hamlin (Bruce Bennett), a citizen of Pitchfork who has become a country music star on the radio, takes his orchestra—including …

IC Corporation

aka: Inc. Ward Transportation Services
IC Corporation, formerly Ward Transportation Services, Inc., is a school bus manufacturer that started up in Conway (Faulkner County). In 2008, the company had a sixty-two-percent share of the North American school bus market. The company has often been technologically innovative and, in 1936, was the first to produce a steel-bodied school bus. IC Corporation also offers hybrid technology in its buses. IC Corporation was founded in 1933 by blacksmith David H. Ward as Ward Body Works, a company that originally made school bus bodies from wood. The name was later changed to Ward School Bus Manufacturing, Inc., a subsidiary of Ward Industries, Inc., and then to Ward Bus Company. In 1968, the company was handed over to Ward’s son …

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and School

The Immaculate Heart of Mary campus in the Marche (Pulaski County) community of North Little Rock (Pulaski County) has undergone several stages of growth since it was established to serve the area’s Catholics in 1878. The first Polish settlers arrived to the area via train from Chicago, Illinois, in 1877 and began forming a distinctly Polish community. Their first project after establishing rudimentary houses was building a small parish, which was overseen by the Reverend Anthony Jaworski. He and Father Joseph Strub selected eighty acres around Marche and purchased the tract for one dollar on behalf of the Holy Ghost Fathers in Morrilton (Conway County). The land they chose was centered on a hill in an otherwise low-lying area. The …

Immigration

The peopling of Arkansas has taken place since prehistoric times, beginning with the migration of early Native Americans thousands of years ago. Europeans began to settle the area shortly after the arrival of the early explorers, such as Hernando de Soto, Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, and René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Settlement took place largely as a result of gradual migrations into the state. Each new group helped define the cultural characteristics of Arkansas. White Immigration, 1820 to 1880Immigration into Arkansas between 1820 and 1880 was part of the general westward movement, a larger migratory process taking place in America. Some of the main reasons white people migrated to Arkansas were to seek adventure, to join family and …

Independence Steam Electric Station

The Independence Steam Electric Station (ISES) is a coal-fired electric-energy-generating plant consisting of two units nameplate-rated at 850 megawatts (MW). Located near Newark (Independence County), the units—constructed by Arkansas Power and Light Company (AP&L, now Entergy Arkansas)—were launched into service in 1983 and 1984 following vigorous litigation before the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) in 1978. The ISES plant burns Powder River Basin low-sulfur coal transported to Arkansas from the Antelope Coal Mine in Wyoming by rail in cars owned by Entergy. ISES—originally proposed by AP&L, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), and City Water and Light (CWL) of Jonesboro (Craighead County), and now also co-owned or leased by several other Arkansas municipal utilities—operates in coordination with other generating plants within …

Indian Mounds

Indian Mounds were constructed by deliberately heaping soil, rock, or other materials (such as ash, shell, and the remains of burned buildings) onto natural land surfaces. In Arkansas and elsewhere in eastern North America, Native Americans built earthen mounds for ritual or burial purposes or as the location for important structures, but mound-building ceased shortly after European contact due to changes in religious and other cultural practices. Mississippian people in eastern Arkansas were using mounds when Spanish explorers arrived in 1541, and the Caddo in the Red River valley were still using mounds during the winter of 1691–92, when explorers from Mexico visited them. Most of the thousands of mounds built in Arkansas have been destroyed by modern development and …

Indochinese Resettlement Program

aka: Operation New Life
In 1975, the state of Arkansas was tapped by the federal government to be one of four main entry points for Indochinese refugees. The presence and availability of the facilities at Fort Chaffee, located adjacent to Fort Smith (Sebastian County), made it an ideal location for processing tens of thousands of Indochinese seeking refuge from their war-torn country. When the United States evacuated its remaining personnel from Vietnam in the spring of 1975, it left in its wake a wide segment of the Indochinese population who had assisted the American military and political effort. Without the American presence, they were left vulnerable to retaliation by the North Vietnamese government. Many fled in the days and weeks leading up to the …

Industrial Sand Mining

Industrial sand is a term normally applied to high-purity silica sand products with closely controlled sizing. Industrial sand is a more precisely sized and shape-graded product than common sand used as aggregates in construction materials, such as concrete and asphalt. Typically, sand is composed predominantly of quartz (SiO2), and, in the case of industrial sand, the shape, size, and composition of the grains are important to determining suitable uses for the product. Sizing of industrial sand is typically done by screening and air sorting of a dried product. The term “sand,” as used by geologists, generally refers to individual grains that range in particle size from 0.00246 to 0.0787 inch (0.0625–2.0 millimeter) in diameter. This grain size ranges from just …

Information Galore

aka: Infogo
Information Galore, Inc., (a.k.a. Infogo) of El Dorado (Union County) was the first commercial Internet service provider (ISP) in Arkansas. Although the company was short-lived, it had a notable impact upon economic and educational initiatives in southern Arkansas, as well as parts of Texas and Louisiana. Infogo was founded by six individuals. John Gray was a world-famous geologist who was appointed to serve on the Arkansas Geological Commission (now Arkansas Geological Survey) several times by Governor Bill Clinton and who did work for the United Nations. Gray, along with Watt McKinney, Leon Wood, William L. (Billy) Cook, and Robert McKinney each invested $5,000. Joe Brazeal was a board member of ARKnet, the state’s educational computer network, and provided technical expertise …

Initiatives and Referenda

Arkansas’s adoption of key elements of “direct democracy” (specifically, a statewide initiative and referendum process) stands out in the South. The fact that Arkansas adds another policymaking body—the voters of the state acting at the ballot box on measures placed on the ballot through their own petition signatures—to the typical representative system of democracy continues to shape the political rules of the game in Arkansas a century after the process’s creation. It also reflects the legacies of the Progressive and Populist political movements in the state. Proponents of direct democracy—the initiative, referendum, and recall—argued that taking total decision-making power away from legislative bodies could lessen the influence of special interests, reduce corruption in politics generally, and more fully empower rank-and-file …

Insects

Insects account for over half of all species described thus far worldwide, and they are the dominant form of life in terrestrial environments. It is estimated that 35,000 to 40,000 species of insects live in Arkansas, including around 10,000 species of beetles, around 9,000 species of flies, nearly 8,000 species of bees and wasps, and around 5,000 species of moths and butterflies. The remainder make up small orders such as the bristletails, mayflies, dragonflies and damselflies, cockroaches, mantids, termites, stoneflies, grasshoppers and crickets, earwigs, stick insects, book and bark lice, chewing and sucking lice, and true bugs and lacewings and their relatives. It is still not uncommon to find species in Arkansas that are unnamed and new to the scientific …

Instructional Microcomputer Project for Arkansas Classrooms (IMPAC)

The Instructional Microcomputer Project for Arkansas Classrooms (IMPAC) was an innovative program that helped make emerging microcomputer technologies a key component of education in Arkansas. Influential across the nation, IMPAC was cited for excellence by Electronic Learning, Instructor Magazine, Pro Education, Information Week, the National Governors Association, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, Nelson B. Heller & Associates, and the Southwest Education Development Laboratory. A number of Arkansas educators made significant efforts in laying a foundation for the use of microcomputers in instruction, as well as providing for technical support and workshops for teachers and school administrators, K–12. New technologies of the 1980s included networking microcomputers, the progression toward online resources, computer-assisted instruction and multimedia, and instructional management software for …

Interstate Orphanage

aka: Ouachita Children’s Center
aka: Interstate Orphans’ Home
aka: Hot Springs Children's Home
aka: Hot Springs Orphans' Home
The Interstate Orphans’ Home—today known as the Ouachita Children’s Center—is located at 339 Charteroak Street in Hot Springs (Garland County). It was the first institution in Hot Springs to care for orphans and other destitute children. The Craftsman-style brick structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Interstate Orphanage in 1982 and is attributed to noted Arkansas architect Charles L. Thompson. Throughout its history, the nonprofit facility has been called the Interstate Orphans’ Home, Hot Springs Orphans’ Home, Hot Springs Children’s Home, and Ouachita Children’s Center. In 1910, a home located at 322 Morrison in Hot Springs was organized to care for the area’s needy children. By 1918, a large, white wood-frame house was acquired for …