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Apart from the brief visit of the Scandinavians in the early eleventh century, the Western Hemisphere remained unknown to Europe until Columbus's voyage in 1492. However, the native peoples of North and South America arrived from Asia long before, in a series of migrations that began perhaps as early as forty thousand years ago across the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska.
Arkansas History Timeline
Important Dates, Events, and Milestones
Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in Arkansas history.
1541 - June 18 - Hernando de Soto of Spain was the first European to explore Arkansas.
1673 - July - French explorers Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette descend the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas River. Warned by the Quapaw (Arkansas) Indians of hostile tribes farther south they turn back.
1682 - Mar 13 - Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, reaches the Arkansas on his way to the mouth of the Mississippi. He visits a Quapaw village and claims the land in the name of King Louis XIV.
1686 - Henri de Tonti founded Arkansas Post, the first settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. It served as a trading post, a way-station for Mississippi River travel, and the home of a Jesuit mission for a few years.
1721 - A group of 1,300 half-starved colonists - whites and black slaves - abandons Arkansas Post after John Law's scheme to develop the Mississippi Valley collapses.
1762 - France cedes the Louisiana Territory, including Arkansas, to Spain, but French soldiers continue to man Arkansas Post.
1803 - The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France, which had retaken it from Spain as part of the Treaty of San Ildefonso.
1818 - The Quapaw cede their lands between the Red and Arkansas rivers.
1819 - March 2 - Arkansas, which has been part of Missouri Territory since 1812, is detached and made a territory. November 20: Arkansas Gazette, the first newspaper in Arkansas, published.
1821 - October 25 - The capital moves from Arkansas Post to Little Rock.
1822 - March 16 - The Eagle, first steamboat to ascend the Arkansas River, arrives at Little Rock.
1830 - May 28 - Congress establishes the boundary separating Arkansas from Indian Territory to the west.
1832-1839 - Removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" of Indians from the Southeast through Arkansas to Indian Territory.
1836 - June 15 - Arkansas became the 25th state on June 15, 1836, with Little Rock as its capital.
1846 - Disillusioned by the collapse of two state-chartered banks, legislators ratify a constitutional amendment barring any banking institution from being established in the state.
1858 - Edward Payson Washburn paints The Arkansas Traveler.
1859 - February 12 - Signing of legislation ordering all free Negroes out of Arkansas by the end of the year.
1860 - On the eve of the Civil War, Arkansas has a population of 435,450, of whom 111,115 are black slaves and 11,481 are slave owners.
1866 - August - Ex-Confederates sweep control of the legislature and pass laws denying blacks the right to sit on juries, serve in the militia, or attend white public schools.
1867 - March 2 - Congress passes the Reconstruction Act, which voids the government of Arkansas and nine other southern states.
1868 - March 13 - A new constitution adopted by referendum enfranchises Negroes and disenfranchises ex-Confederate soldiers. June 22. Arkansas re-admitted to the Union. November. Governor Powell Clayton declares martial law in much of the state; a mostly black militia battles the Ku Klux Klan.
1871 - Completion of a railroad between Memphis and Little Rock.
1872 - University of Arkansas opens in Fayetteville.
1887 - Bauxite discovered southwest of Little Rock; peak output is reached by 1918, by which time almost all US Bauxite is being mined in Arkansas.
1891 - Jim Crow legislation segregates railroad coaches and waiting stations.
1892 - Adoption of a constitutional amendment imposing a poll tax restricts the electorate.
1898 - The Democratic party adopts whites-only primary elections.
1899 - Bauxite mining began in 1899 and Arkansas soon led all other states in production.
1904 - Near Ulm, William H Fuller grows a 70 acre stand of rice, establishing one of the state's leading crops.
1906 - August 1 - Diamonds found near Murfreesboro, which becomes the site of the only diamond mine in the United States.
1909 - Lumber production is the state's leading industry.
1915 - The General Assembly of 1915 enacted a statewide game and fish law and created the Game and Fish Commission.
1920 - Over 40 percent of land under cultivation is in cotton, the state's leading crop.
1927 - The Mississippi River floods one-fifth of the state.
1953 - Television station KATV in Little Rock went on the air in 1953
1955-1967 - Orval E. Faubus was the first Arkansas governor to be elected to six terms (1955-67).
1957 - President Eisenhower had to send US troops to help African Americans attend Central High School in Little Rock.
1967 - Winthrop Rockefeller became the first Republican governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction.
Source : Arkansas Secretary of State. Also, see Arkansas Department of Heritage for more information.
State History Timelines
State History Timelines
Chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in United States history from discovery to present
What is the past, and why is it important? How do we learn about events in the past?
Study history will allow students to gain a frame of reference for understanding history and for recognizing that the past is different depending on who is remembering and retelling it.