Entry Type: Thing - Starting with D

Day It Came to Earth, The

The Day It Came to Earth is a 1977 horror/science fiction feature film directed by Arkansan Harry Thomason. It was filmed in and around Little Rock (Pulaski County). Running at eighty-eight minutes and rated PG (for violence), the movie features a number of local Arkansas actors, such as Little Rock advertising executive Robert (Bob) Ginnaven (1937–2008) in addition to comedian George Gobel near the end of his career and actress Rita Wilson at the beginning of hers. The story, written by Paul Fisk, begins with a glowing meteorite falling into a secluded pond. Gangsters have dumped the body of one of their victims into the pond. The water takes on rejuvenating powers from the meteorite, causing the dead body to …

De Ann Cemetery Historic Section

The De Ann Cemetery Historic Section is part of the Prescott City Cemetery located in Prescott (Nevada County). The original cemetery, the De Ann section, was created in the 1870s and officially opened in 1880. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 1, 2005. The cemetery is located on U.S. Highway 371/Greenlawn Street to the west of downtown Prescott. The original section is located south of the highway, and an addition is located to the north. Only the original section was added to the National Register. It is named for Prairie D’Ane (or De Ann), on which it rests. The earliest dated grave in the cemetery is for an infant who died on December 18, …

De Queen and Eastern Railroad Machine Shop

The De Queen and Eastern Railroad Machine Shop, located in De Queen (Sevier County), was built in 1905 for repairing and maintaining train engines. It is one of the only buildings constructed during the early years of the Eastern Railroad Company and by 2019 was also the only remaining railroad shop in that area of the state. The shop was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 20, 1996. A long, one-story building with brick masonry and tall glass windows on its façade, it is notable for its Italianate architecture, rare for buildings with an industrial use. Its large curved windows remain intact. On top of the building is a monitor roof with small windows for more …

De Queen Bee

The De Queen Bee was established by printer Walter A. Boyd and lawyer J. W. Bishop of Nashville (Howard County). The newspaper has been serving De Queen (Sevier County) and the surrounding areas since June 4, 1897. Some sources report that the partnership began when Boyd and Bishop were sitting on the courthouse steps in Nashville discussing the future of the developing railroad town of De Queen. Seeing the new town as an opportunity, they decided to start a newspaper, naming it the De Queen Bee. A subscription was one dollar a year, with the paper being published every Friday. The partnership lasted for only three issues before the paper was sold to E. C. Winford. Leadership of the paper …

Deforestation

Deforestation is the conversion of timbered lands into one or more non-forest uses. A classical example of deforestation in Arkansas is the clearing of the forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain to plant fields of rice, cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat, and other crops. According to this technical definition, the logging of forests (even the clearcutting of native, natural-origin forests and their subsequent replacement with pine plantations) is not deforestation since the land is still in some kind of forested state. In most cases, deforestation is a human-mediated process. The two primary reasons behind deforestation—agricultural conversion and urbanization—are not new to Arkansas. Native Americans cleared forests to build their communities and sow crops at least as early as the Late Archaic …

DeGray Creek Bridge

DeGray Creek Bridge is a pin-connected Pratt pony-truss bridge located near Arkadelphia (Clark County). Constructed in 1915, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 2010. It is the only known surviving bridge of its type in the state. The bridge consists of two steel trusses, seven feet tall and twelve feet apart. A steel deck substructure is attached to the trusses, and pins hold the sections together. The deck is covered by wooden planks. This bridge is connected to the banks of the creek by concrete and is a single lane wide. The bridge and similar bridges were prefabricated to be constructed in a manner that would allow them to be quickly and easily …

Delta Gateway Museum

aka: Kress Building
Delta Gateway Museum (DGM) in Blytheville (Mississippi County) aims to tell the story of Blytheville and the surrounding area by interpreting the land and its impact on the people. The museum collects and exhibits historical materials that relate to the region encompassing northeastern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri, and the Arkansas Delta, emphasizing cultural development. DGM is housed in the historic Kress Building in the heart of the Blytheville Commercial Historic District. Constructed in 1938 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 13, 1997, the Kress Building is widely acknowledged as the best example of Art Deco architecture in the area. S. H. Kress & Co. operated a chain of five-and-dime department stores across the United States, with …

Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company

Founded in 1871, the Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company, located in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is a family-owned operation specializing in catalog and magazine printing. The company grew out of a newspaper department to its own industrial facility employing up to 200. The Arkansas Democrat established the Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company as part of the newspaper’s printing division in 1871. In 1906, Democrat Printing separated from the Arkansas Democrat when the newspaper divided its assets. For the next forty years, the company primarily offered printing services using a sheet-fed printer. By 1924, the company needed its own building for its growing business. Hiring the Sanders and Ginocchio architectural firm, the company built a three-story building, totaling 61,436 square feet, …

Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company Building

The Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company building, located at 114 East 2nd Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), housed the Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company from 1924 to 1999. In the twenty-first century, it is a mixed-use building with space for commercial offices, retail stores, and lofts. On December 17, 1998, the building was added to National Register of Historic Places. The Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company building was built in 1924, in an area then known as the East Markham Warehouse District. Its namesake, the Democrat Printing and Lithographing Company, was founded in 1871 as the commercial printing division of the Arkansas Democrat newspaper. The Arkansas Democrat divided its assets in 1906, which separated the printing division from the …

Der Squire: Ein Bild aus den Hinterwalden Nordamerikas

Der Squire: Ein Bild aus den Hinterwalden Nordamerikas (The Squire: A Picture from the Backwoods of North America) by Albert von Halfern was published in 1857 by Hoffman and Campe of Hamburg, Germany. The novel presents the story of Squire Russel, a squatter (or pioneer) in western Arkansas near the Indian Territory. Von Halfern’s novel was never translated into English and therefore did not achieve the popularity in the United States that fellow German author Friedrich Gerstäcker’s novels did. Nevertheless, his description of western Arkansas in the early 1840s, like Gerstäcker’s work, offers insight into the daily experiences and the social life of Arkansas’s early settlers. Von Halfern, born about 1816, came to America in 1838, landing in New York …

Derechos, Squall Lines, Downbursts/Microbursts, and “Rogue” Winds

While Arkansas makes national news far more often for its tornadoes, the state suffers its fair share of what are commonly known as straight-line winds. For example, on June 5, 2014, a weather event originating in Colorado crossed northeastern Arkansas, killing two people, derailing a train in Craighead County, and leaving thousands without power. A derecho (pronounced “deh-REY-cho”) is an event that consists of winds that create a swath of damage that extends for more than 240 miles, has minimal wind gusts of at least fifty-eight miles per hour (mph) for most of this swath, and includes multiple hurricane-force (seventy-five mph or greater) gusts. Derechos originate from what are commonly called “bow echoes,” named for their curved radar signature. About …

Desha County Courthouse

The Desha County Courthouse in Arkansas City (Desha County) is a two-and-a-half-story brick structure built in 1900 in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 12, 1976. After the establishment of Desha County in 1838, the first county seat was located at Napoleon in 1843, a river port at the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Early courts were held at Wellington, a plantation in the Red Fork Township. In the fall of 1865, the old Marine Hospital building was leased by the county from the federal government for the purpose of conducting county business. By the 1870s, the county seat at Napoleon had been abandoned due to frequent flooding. In 1873, …

DeValls Bluff Waterworks

The DeValls Bluff Waterworks, located at the corner of Hazel and Rumbaugh streets in DeValls Bluff (Prairie County), was constructed in 1936 and installed with assistance from the Public Works Administration (PWA), a New Deal public relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 2007. As the United States struggled with the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) to ease the effects of businesses closing. The act included an organization called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (or Public Works Administration), which was created on June 16, 1933, to help finance federal construction projects and create jobs. DeValls Bluff, located on the …

Devil’s Knot

Mara Leveritt’s 2002 book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three focuses on the facts of the 1993 murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis (Crittenden County) and the controversial court case that followed. One of the teenagers of the so-called West Memphis Three convicted in the case was sentenced to death, while two others were condemned to life in jail without parole; the three were freed in 2011. The murders remained unsolved. The book depicts a bleak picture of small-town Arkansas in the 1990s, providing background for how, in the author’s view, this case assumed a level of hysteria that in many ways equaled the Salem Witch Trials. The book provoked a larger discussion about …

Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field

The Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field is an airport located in Arkadelphia (Clark County). Owned by the City of Arkadelphia, the facility serves both local general aviation and as the location for Henderson State University (HSU) flight operations. The first airplane to visit the city landed on May 25, 1918. Other planes infrequently appeared in the city over the next two decades until the first airport was constructed in 1933–34, located across the Ouachita River from Arkadelphia. The first plane landed at that facility on April 24, 1934. The land was leased for only three years, and after the expiration of the lease, the airport closed. It was reopened in 1939 when students from Henderson State Teachers College (which later …

Dialects

The classification of dialects is an inexact science, as it is often difficult to track the minute differences in grammar, vocabulary, phonetics, and intonation that distinguish one from the next, and more importantly, track how those changes occurred. Migratory routes provide a basic framework for identifying dialects across the country. Informed by this framework, linguists identify two umbrella dialects in the state of Arkansas:Midland, sometimes called South Midland or Mountain Speech, andSouthern, which refers to east-coastal Southern speech. Geography also plays a decisive role in the distribution of dialects. The Ouachita Mountains, for example, form a natural barrier for language and culture. John Gould Fletcher observed as much in his historical study, Arkansas (1947): “One may say that there are roughly two …

Diamond Bear Brewery

Diamond Bear Brewery in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) revived beer brewing in the state of Arkansas. Its name is derived from two previous monikers used by Arkansas: the “Diamond State” and the “Bear State.” Russ Melton, president and chief executive officer of Diamond Bear, served in the military in Germany for four years, where he acquired a taste for fine beers. He and his wife, Sue Melton, came up with the concept of a local brewery in 1999 and, along with seven other owners, started production in the fall of 2000 at a Little Rock (Pulaski County) facility. The mission statement of the company is: “To provide the people of Arkansas and the surrounding region with their own local brewery, which produces great …

Diamond Mining

Almost 100 million years ago, in what is now Pike County, nature created one of the world’s most unusual diamond-bearing formations, the big volcanic “pipe” that now serves as the centerpiece of Crater of Diamonds State Park. Famous today for recreational mining, the eroded old crater once inspired generations of diamond hunters to dream of commercial success. The history of that long quest—the expectations, the contention, and the repeated frustration—is, in itself, an invaluable legacy of the Arkansas diamond field. Unlike the typical diamond pipe, the formation in Pike County accumulated in various stages as molten rock deep within the earth’s mantle swept up through a shallower zone where diamonds had crystallized long before and then worked its way to …

Dickinson-Moore House

Constructed circa 1915, the Dickinson-Moore House in Arkansas City (Desha County) has experienced the ebb and flow of the city’s history, as well as its floodwaters. Like many buildings in Arkansas City, it was built upon a tall foundation to protect it from the high water that frequently inundated the area. This practical adaptation makes the Dickinson-Moore House a unique example of Craftsman architecture in Arkansas City. It is believed that a member of the Dickinson family had the house built. The Dickinson family patriarch in the town was planter and attorney Colonel J. W. Dickinson, of whom the Goodspeed history of the area speaks rather glowingly: “No name is entitled to a more enviable place in the history of Desha County …

Die Goldsucher von Arkansas

aka: Massacre at Marble City
aka: Conquerors of Arkansas
Die Goldsucher von Arkansas (literally, The Gold Seekers of Arkansas), produced in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1964, is based loosely on Friedrich Gerstäcker’s novel Die Regulatoren in Arkansas, which is set in Arkansas. Fitting into the genre of the spaghetti western, the film was released in Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain (under two separate titles), Sweden, Finland, and the United States. The title in the United States was Massacre in Marble City, while in the United Kingdom, it was released as Conquerors of Arkansas. Directors were Paul Martin in Germany and Alberto Cardone in Italy. Although both the novel and movie take place in Arkansas, considerable license was taken in adapting the novel, and in the …

Dill School

aka: Ida School
The Dill School at Ida (Cleburne County), located on Highway 25 and Center Ridge Road, was built in 1937–1938 with assistance from the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 16, 1994. The first schools in the Ida area were established in the late 1800s and included a one-room log building called the Dill School. This school served the community until it was destroyed by fire in the early twentieth century. It was replaced by a one-room, wood-frame structure that was used until 1938, when the community sought funding from the National Youth Administration, one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies, which employed young …

Dillard’s, Inc.

Dillard’s, Inc., based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is ranked among the nation’s largest fashion apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishings retailers, employing more than 53,000 people across the country. The mid-range-to-upscale department store chain consists of approximately 300 stores throughout twenty-nine states in the South, Southwest, West, and Midwest. Today, Dillard’s stores serve as retail anchors in many suburban shopping malls and continue to evolve with the changing landscape of American consumerism. Born in 1914, Dillard’s founder William T. Dillard grew up in the retail business of his father’s mercantile store in Mineral Springs (Howard County). After his graduation from the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1935, followed by a graduate degree from the School of Business at …

Dimension Stone Mining

Dimension stone is defined as rock that is removed from its original site to be used with minor alteration (rough stone) and rock that is broken, sawn, and/or ground and polished (cut or dressed stone) for use as building and/or ornamental stone. While most of the high-quality dimension stone produced in Arkansas is used in state, some is shipped to markets worldwide. Limestone and sandstone are used as dimension stone in Arkansas. Historically, much nepheline syenite was used as hand-worked building stone in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the Little Rock (Pulaski County) area, but beginning in the middle 1940s, those labor-intensive activities gave way to the use of crushed stone for syenite. A small market exists, …