December 16, 1811
The natural disaster that became known as the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812 began. Centered near New Madrid, Missouri, the earthquake sent shocks for hundreds of miles throughout northeast Arkansas, western Tennessee, and southeast Missouri. An even larger disturbance occurred on January 23, with aftershocks lasting until February 4. Another violent quake occurred on February 7. Arkansas suffered the greatest amount of damage, but loss of life was minimal because the area affected was sparsely populated.