Entry Type: Thing

Amendment 59

aka: Taxation Amendment
Amendment 59 was an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution, ratified by voters overwhelmingly in 1980, that overhauled the system of valuing and taxing private property. It quickly became known for its bewildering complexity—an Arkansas Supreme Court opinion called it “the Godzilla of constitutional amendments”—and for its damaging effect on the financing of public schools. The amendment and its various interpretations had a major role in the long legislative and judicial battles over school reform and tax reform (as with the court cases Jim DuPree v. Alma School District No. 30 and Lake View School District No. 25 v. Huckabee). The valuing of private property, both real and personal, had long been a divisive issue, owing to the property tax’s role …

Amendments 19 and 20

aka: Futrell Amendments
Amendments 19 and 20 to the Arkansas Constitution, which are commonly referred to as the Futrell Amendments, sharply restricted the ability of the legislature to levy taxes, spend the funds, and incur debt. Ratified in the general election in 1934, the amendments went beyond the laws of any other state in limiting the fiscal powers of the legislature and were supposed to guarantee austere and limited government for posterity. The restrictions on borrowing stated in Amendment 20, which required a statewide popular vote before the state could borrow money for public improvements, were loosened in 1986 by Amendment 65, after the Arkansas Supreme Court handed down a strict interpretation that seemed to outlaw what were known as “revenue bonds,” which the …

American Alligator

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) belongs to the class Reptilia, order Crocodylia, superfamily Alligatoroidea, and family Alligatoridae. There are seven species in the family endemic to the New World tropics, with an eighth species occurring in the warmer temperate regions of China. The American alligator is endemic to the southeastern coastal plain of the United States, where it inhabits freshwater wetlands such as streams, reservoirs, ponds, lakes, coastal marshes, bayous, oxbows, and cypress swamps associated with larger rivers in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida (and some Florida Keys), Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia; it also occurs in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas south of San Antonio, and farther south into the thornscrub …

American Burying Beetle

aka: Giant Carrion Beetle
The American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)—which belongs to the Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, Order Coleoptera, and Family Silphidae—is a carnivorous beetle that feeds on and requires carrion to breed. It is the largest North American carrion beetle. In July 1989, it was placed on to the federal Endangered Species List; the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently lists the species as critically endangered. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to downlist N. americanus from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In the few states in which it is found, including Arkansas, it is ranked S1 (critically imperiled) by NatureServe. The decline of N. americanus has been attributed to habitat loss, alteration, and degradation, …

American Eel

The American eel (Anguilla rostrata) belongs to the order Anguilliformes and family Anguillidae. Common names include Atlantic eel, common eel, freshwater eel, silver eel, yellow-bellied eel, green eel, black eel, bronze eel, elver, whip, and easgann. This family includes about eighteen facultative catadromous species of eels. The American eel ranges from Greenland and Iceland and all the drainages of eastern North America along the Atlantic and Gulf slopes west to New Mexico and south to Venezuela and islands of the Caribbean and West Indies across a latitudinal range of 5 to 62° N. In North America, A. rostrata occurs inland from eastern Canada to the Great Lakes, in the headwaters of many Atlantic and Gulf slope rivers, and in the …

American Legion Hut (Des Arc)

aka: Burson-Bethel Post 119 American Legion Hut
The American Legion Hut in Des Arc (Prairie County), located at 206 Erwin Street, is a Rustic-style structure erected in 1934 with assistance from the Civil Works Administration (CWA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 9, 1995. Des Arc’s American Legion Post was named for two fallen soldiers during World War I: Edward Burson and Bedford B. Bethel of Des Arc. Burson, twenty-one, was killed in action in France on October 6, 1918, and Bethel, twenty-nine, died of pneumonia on October 30, 1918. As with several other American Legion posts around the state in the early 1930s, Burson-Bethel Post 119 decided to seek funding from the CWA to finance …

American Legion Post 127 Building

aka: Wilson Burnett Post 127 American Legion Hut
The American Legion Post 127 Building, located on the northeast corner of Cherry and Armstrong streets in Eudora (Chicot County), is a Rustic-style structure erected in 1934 with assistance from the Civil Works Administration (CWA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1992. Local veterans of World War I established an American Legion post at Eudora on April 9, 1920, and named it in honor of Wilson B. Burnett, an eighteen-year-old soldier from Montrose (Ashley County) who was killed in action in France on July 20, 1918. It would be another fourteen years before the post had a permanent home with the assistance of the CWA. In seeking CWA …

American Made

The 2017 film American Made, starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, and Sarah Wright Olsen, is a fictionalized retelling of events in the life of smuggler and pilot Barry Seal, who, during the 1980s, transported drugs and guns between Central America and the United States. The film was written by Gary Spinelli and directed by Doug Liman. Although not filmed in Arkansas, parts of the film are set in Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Mena (Polk County). American Made had an estimated budget of $50 million and was released in the United States on September 29, 2017. The film opens in 1978 with Cruise playing commercial airline pilot Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal, who occasionally smuggles contraband on his flights. At an …

Ammonites

aka: Ammonoids
Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrates in the Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopoda, and Subclass Ammonoidea. The subclass can be divided into six orders as follows: Agoniatitida (present in the Lower Devonian–Middle Devonian), Clymeniida (Upper Devonian), Goniatitida (Middle Devonian–Upper Permian), Prolecanitida (Upper Devonian–Upper Triassic), Ceratitida (Upper Permian–Upper Triassic), and Ammonitida (Lower Jurassic–Upper Cretaceous). The name “ammonite,” from which the common name is derived, was inspired by the spiral shape of their fossilized shells, which somewhat resembles tightly coiled ram’s horns. These molluscs are more closely related to living coleoids (e.g., cuttlefish, octopuses, and squid) than they are to shelled nautiloids, such as extant chambered Nautilus species. The earliest ammonites originated from within the bactritoid nautiloids, appearing during the Devonian …

Amphibians

Arkansas has within its borders a modest assemblage of salamanders, frogs, and toads, which are taxonomically grouped in the class Amphibia and, therefore, are commonly called amphibians. Amphibians were the first tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates) to walk on land, having come from an early-evolving group of lobe-finned fishes nearly 360 million years ago. Today’s amphibians possess a mostly bony skeleton with a strong “backbone” comprising a series of interlocking vertebrae. Salamanders are termed caudates because they possess a tail in both the juvenile and adult forms, whereas frogs and toads (collectively called anurans) lack tails as adults even though the larvae (tadpoles) possess them. The study of amphibians has been traditionally linked with the study of reptiles in the professional field …

Amphipods

aka: Scuds
Amphipods belong to the Phylum Arthropoda, Class Crustacea, Subclass Malacostraca, and Order Amphipoda. The Malacostraca contains seventy percent of all known crustaceans. Over 10,000 species of amphipods are currently recognized. Twenty species of amphipods are known from Arkansas, with most being found in groundwater environments. Traditionally, amphipods have been placed in four suborders: the Caprellidea, Gammaridea, Hyperiidea, and Ingolfiellidea. The Gammaridea, which contains the majority of species, includes all the freshwater and semi-terrestrial taxa. The Hyperiidea includes the pelagic amphipods, which are associated with other planktonic forms such as gelatinous zooplankton (medusae and ctenophores). Hyperiids are usually characterized by very large eyes, although some forms, like gammarideans, have normal-sized eyes. Hyperiid members are a polyphyletic group, and it is thought …

Amtrak

Amtrak, with a name derived from the words “America” and “track,” is a partially government-funded American passenger rail service. Its parent enterprise is the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Amtrak was created in 1970 to provide medium- and long-distance intercity service through the consolidation of existing U.S. passenger rail companies. Sharing track with freight trains, Amtrak officially took over most U.S. interstate passenger rail service on May 1, 1971. However, Amtrak’s regular passenger rail service did not begin to serve Arkansas until 1974, when service on the Inter-American train was extended northward from Fort Worth, Texas, to St. Louis, Missouri. Amtrak is the most recent phase in America’s passenger railroad history, in which Arkansas has played a significant part. From the …

Angus McLeod House

The Angus McLeod House, once located at 912 North 13th Street in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), was built in 1905 and consisted of three stories with a full basement. Designed in the Neoclassical style, the dwelling was constructed of pink bricks ordered specially from New Orleans, Louisiana. McLeod employed many such imported materials in the construction of the dwelling, which was featured in the 1982 movie The Blue and the Gray. The Angus McLeod House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1978, but it was destroyed by fire in 2010 and removed from the register in 2018. Rusticated hewn-stone and masonry blocks extended the width of the house and wrapped around the south end …

Annals of Arkansas

The Annals of Arkansas comprise four volumes of narrative and biographical histories of Arkansas, written by several experts in the state’s history and edited by Dallas Tabor Herndon, who was director of the Arkansas History Commission (now the Arkansas State Archives). The Annals were meant to revise, re-edit, and continue preserving and recording the historical record of Arkansas’s development initially begun by Herndon’s previous multi-volume study, Centennial History of Arkansas, published in 1922. In short, the Annals of Arkansas and the Annals’ forerunners—the Centennial History of Arkansas and Fay Hempstead’s Historical Review of Arkansas—form the beginnings of an authoritative study of Arkansas history. The first two volumes of the Annals contain brief but informative historical entries on various subjects organized …

Annelids

aka: Segmented Worms
The phylum Annelida consists of over 22,000 living species of segmented worms. They include earthworms, leeches, and ragworms. Annelids are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic invertebrates that inhabit a wide diversity of habitats, including marine environments such as tidal zones, hydrothermal vents, lotic and lentic freshwater habitats, and moist terrestrial habitats. The term “Annelida” originated in 1802 from French naturalist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s (1744‒1829), annélides. Several species of annelids can be found in Arkansas. The overall classification of the phylum is undergoing significant revisions and has not yet been stabilized completely. Phylogenomic and other molecular phylogenetic analyses have shown that taxonomic groupings previously based on morphology in many cases are invalid. The phylum was previously divided into three classes as follows: Polychaeta (marine, …

Anthony Timberlands, Inc.

Formed by John Ed Anthony in 1974, Anthony Timberlands, Inc. (ATI) operates five mills in southern Arkansas and also provides consulting services to private timberland owners and management services to other private companies. ATI’s operating principles derive from the knowledge and experience of various branches of the Anthony family during the twentieth century. The Anthony family first settled in southern Arkansas in the 1840s. In 1907, Garland Anthony started a small sawmill near Bearden (Ouachita County). Other members of the family, along with outside partners, started similar operations in southern Arkansas, eastern Texas, and northern Louisiana. Between 1910 and 1930, Garland and his brothers Frank, William, and Oliver formed Anthony Brothers Lumber and built their first permanent mill in Hopeville …

Anti-Catholicism

Organized prejudice against Roman Catholics was a recurring theme in American history from colonial days through the early twentieth century, rising to a climax in the 1910s and 1920s. Nowhere was it greater in these years than in Arkansas. The renewed anti-Catholic movement began around 1910 as a response to a massive immigration of Catholics from Italy and Eastern Europe. Roman Catholicism had become the largest Christian denomination in the United States by this time. This immigration, however, largely missed Arkansas, a state with one of the lowest percentages of Catholic residents in the United States. A lack of knowledge or personal experience with Catholic neighbors provided ideal ground for the growth of an anti-Catholic movement. In 1912, a Missionary …

Anti-miscegenation Laws

Anti-miscegenation laws were edicts that made it unlawful for African Americans and white people to marry or engage each other in intimate relationships. The measures first appeared in the United States in colonial times and had two functions. First, the laws helped maintain the racial caste system necessary for the expansion of slavery and the idea of white supremacy. If white masters took slave women as lovers and fathered children by them, anti-miscegenation laws ensured that the children remained slaves because the illicit nature of the relationships left biracial children with none of their father’s free status. Second, anti-miscegenation statutes gave white men greater power to control the sexual choices of white women. In the colonial period, white patriarchs used …

Anti-Semitism

Relations between Jews and the rest of the population were generally amicable throughout the South in the nineteenth century, if only because few Jews lived in the region. Although historians point to Abraham Block as the first member of the Jewish faith in Arkansas, when Block arrived in the 1820s, the nearest congregation to his family was in New Orleans, Louisiana—over 400 miles away. The first Jewish congregation in the state of Arkansas, B’Nai Israel in Little Rock (Pulaski County), was not founded until 1866. At this time, out of a state population of more than 450,000, the number of Jews stood at only 400. Most of these arrived to the United States with the great European migration of the …

Antimony Mining

Antimony (Sb) is a hard, brittle, silver-white metal with a relatively high specific gravity (6.69) and a relatively low melting temperature. Antimony is a constituent in some alloys. The presence of this metal hardens the alloy, lowers the melting point, and decreases contraction during solidification. The metal’s main use is to impart stiffness and hardness to lead alloys. Antimony compounds are used in medicines, paint pigments, enamelware glazes, and as fireproof coatings on clothing. They are also used in the rubber and patent-leather industries. Many minerals contain antimony; however, stibnite and antimonial lead ores are the main sources of the metal. Stibnite (Sb2S3) and its alteration oxide, stibiconite (Sb3+Sb25+O6(OH)), were the only minerals mined in Arkansas for this metal. Stibnite …

Antoine River

The Antoine River rises from a confluence of streams in the Ouachita Mountains of Pike County, just west of Amity (Clark County). From there, it flows southeast, forming part of the boundary between Pike and Clark counties, until it empties into the Little Missouri River near the town of Okolona (Clark County). Some sources call the waterway Antoine Creek. It is one of the shorter rivers in Arkansas, with a total length of thirty-five miles, all of which lie within the state. The area along the river has been the site of human habitation since approximately 10,000 BC. During the historic period, the Caddo Indians controlled this region of southwest Arkansas. French explorers and trappers likely gave the river its …

Apicomplexans

aka: Sporozoans
The protistan Phylum Apicomplexa (formerly Sporozoa) contains a tremendous variety of obligate intracellular parasites infecting many different organisms, including humans. As a group, these parasites are cosmopolitan in their range of infected hosts and geographic distribution. They include such diverse parasites as coccidians, cryptosporids, gregarines, haemosporoids, and piroplasms. All are united, not by their biology or life histories, but morphologically by the presence of a unique structure called an apical complex. The classification scheme that cites this structure has a practical purpose to sort this diversity in a functional manner that can: (1) be easily understood and, (2) serve a utilitarian purpose by non-specialists. However, the field of classifying Apicomplexa is in flux; indeed, its taxonomy has changed throughout the …

Appeal of the Arkansas Exiles to Christians throughout the World

The “Appeal of the Arkansas Exiles to Christians throughout the World” was a plea for assistance written by twelve free African Americans expelled from Arkansas after the passage of Act 151 of 1859 (also known as the Act to Remove the Free Negroes and Mulattos from the State or Arkansas’s Free Negro Expulsion Act of 1859). The authors of the appeal left Arkansas on or about January 1, 1860, and arrived, with several others, in Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 3, 1860. The exodus from Arkansas displaced an estimated 800 free blacks from an approximate population of 1,000 who resided in the state prior to 1860. Of the 800 free blacks who were expelled, as many as 200 were believed to …