Arkansas Fun Facts & Trivia

Fort Smith Arkansas by Kathy Alexander.

Fort Smith Arkansas by Kathy Alexander.

(The laws referenced in this article were still on the books, though likely not enforced when this was originally published over a decade ago)

Judge Isaac Parker often called the “Hanging Judge,” from Fort Smith, Arkansas ruled over the lawless land of Indian Territory in the late 1800s. Over almost two decades, nearly 80 men were hanged at Fort Smith.

Arkansas has the only active diamond mine in the United States.

It is illegal to mispronounce Arkansas while in the state. It must be pronounced “Arkansaw.”

Per capita, it is safer to live in New York City than it is to live in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Elevations in Arkansas range from 54 feet above sea level in the far southeast corner to 2,753 feet above at Mount Magazine, the state’s highest point.

It is illegal for dogs to bark after 6:00 p.m. in Fayetteville.

The community of Mountain View is called the Folk Capital of America. The little town preserves the pioneer way of life and puts it on display for visitors at the Ozark Folk Center State Park from March through October.

The road to the White House for President Bill Clinton began in Hope, then led to Hot Springs, Fayetteville, and Little Rock.

While it is legal to shoot bears in Arkansas, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.

Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.

Arkansas contains seven national park sites, over 2.9 million acres of national forests, seven national scenic byways, three state scenic byways, and 52 state parks.

It is illegal to keep an alligator in your bathtub in Arkansas.

Fordyce Bathhouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas by Kathy Alexander.

Fordyce Bathhouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas by Kathy Alexander.

Since the 1830s the area now known as Hot Springs National Park has bathed notables as diverse as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Al Capone. The park is entirely surrounded by the city of Hot Springs.

Located just outside of Murfreesboro, Crater of Diamonds State Park allows dedicated prospectors to search for precious gems including diamonds, amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz.

Clark Bluff overlooking the St. Francis River contains chalk to supply the nation for years.

Sam Walton founded his Wal-Mart stores in Rogers, Arkansas on July 2, 1962.

The Arkansas River is the longest stream to flow into the Mississippi-Missouri river system. Its total length is 1,450 miles.

Milk was designated as the official state beverage in 1985.

The largest freestanding rock formation located in Eureka Springs has a base circumference of about 10 inches and the top measures almost 10 feet across.

Ouachita National Forest is the oldest national forest in the South.

Legend of Boggy Creek Movie Poster.

Legend of Boggy Creek Movie Poster.

A southern version of Big Foot, called the Boggy Creek Monster, has been sighted near Fouke, Arkansas. Said to be seven feet tall and hairy all over, it kills chicken, cattle, dogs, and livestock.

The state prohibits moose from being viewed from airplanes. Furthermore, it is against the law to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

The World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest is held annually in Stuttgart.

Mount Ida is known as the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World.

In October 1999 in Little Rock, Arkansas, 20-year-old convicted killer Kenneth Williams crawled into a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop in a prison kitchen and escaped in when it was towed to a prison farm. The slop barrel didn’t have a grate over its opening then but it does now. Williams was recaptured a few days later.

Pine Bluff is known as the world center of archery bow production.

Alma, claims to be the Spinach Capital of the World.

Alma, Arkansas is the Spinach Capital of the World and commemorating this by painting its water tower to be the “world’s biggest can of spinach.”

Booger Hollow, Arkansas Double Decker Outhouse

Booger Hollow, Arkansas Double Decker Outhouse by Kathy Alexander.

In Dover, Arkansas, there is an operational double-decker outhouse at the Booger Hollow Trading Post.

General Douglas MacArthur, soldier and statesman, was born in Little Rock in 1880.

Established near the mouth of the Arkansas River in 1686, Arkansas Post was the first permanent white settlement in the state.

The geographic center of the state is located in Pulaski, 12 miles northwest of Little Rock.

The first woman elected to the U.S. Senate was from Arkansas — Hattie Caraway, elected November 1932.

In 1885, a Little Rock newspaper offered a free plow with each prepaid subscription of $12.

Scott Joplin, the popular musician, and composer was born in Texarkana.

Hope, Arkansas is the self-proclaimed Watermelon Capital of the World. Oh, yeah, it’s also the birthplace of ole ex-president Clinton.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

After a car accident in which Bonnie Parker was severely burned, she and Clyde Barrow hid out a tourist court in Fort Smith in 1933.

An Arkansas law provides that school teachers who bob their hair will not get a raise.

The word Arkansas is from the Quapaw Indian language meaning south wind.

In 1783, the only Revolutionary War skirmish in the state occurred at Arkansas Post, called the Colbert Incident.

The Buffalo River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states.

The fiddle was designated as the official state instrument in 1985.

In Fayetteville, it is illegal to kill any living creature.

Forty-seven hot springs flow from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain, at an average temperature of 143 F.

The Ozark National Forest covers more than one million acres.

Cotter, Arkansas is known as Trout Capital, USA.

Tracy Lawrence, the male country singing sensation, hails from Foreman, Arkansas.

Diamonds were discovered in 1906 when a Pike County farmer, John M. Huddleston, found them where Crater of Diamonds State Park is now.

It is unlawful to walk one’s cow down Fayetteville’s Main Street after 1:00 PM on Sunday.

Early in the 20th century, ostrich riding and racing were popular activities at Cockburn’s Ostrich Farm in Hot Springs.

The entire city limits of Eureka Springs is designated as a Historic District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas Streets by Kathy Alexander.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas Streets by Kathy Alexander.

There is an Alligator Farm in Hot Springs that has a petting zoo.

Magnolia, Arkansas is home to the world’s largest barbecue grill. The “Boys Toys” store displays the 70+ feet long charcoal grill.

In 1876, two rival newspapers’ editors in Fayetteville carried their editorial disagreements into a street fight. They agreed that the loser of the fight would sell his newspaper and leave town. He did.

In the state of Arkansas a man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month.

In Arkansas, voters are allowed only five minutes to mark their ballots.

In Lavaca, Arkansas sits a giant Budweiser Beer Can, which is a large farmer’s silo painted to evidently look likes his favorite beverage.

In Little Rock, no person shall sound the horn on a vehicle at any place where cold drinks or sandwiches are served after 9:00 p.m.

The Band Museum in Pine Bluff, Arkansas is the only museum in the country devoted to band instruments and the history of the band movement in America.

Country crooners Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Tracy Lawrence, and Conway Twitty were all born in Arkansas.

Bill Doolin

Bill Doolin

William “Bill” Doolin was the founder of the Wild Bunch, which specialized in robbing banks, trains, and stagecoaches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas in the 1890s was born in 1858 on a farm in Johnson County north of Clarksville. Originally a member of the Dalton Gang, he formed his own gang around 1893 and the Wild Bunch became the premier terrorizers of the West until Doolin was captured in a Eureka Springs bathhouse by Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Tilghman in January 1896. He later escaped federal custody and was shot and killed by a U.S. Marshall near Lawson, Oklahoma Territory on August 25, 1896.

Pine Bluff is the only city in the nation to host the 13-15-year-old Babe Ruth World Series four times.

Near Dover, Arkansas is an overlook with a view of an Ozark Valley. Here, appear the “Dover Lights,” an unexplained phenomenon that appears, flickers, and sways in various colors. Some say they are the ghosts of Spanish Conquistadors searching for their lost gold in the Ozark foothills.

Emerson, Arkansas holds the Purplehull Pea Festival and World Championship Rotary Tiller Race.

The flirtation between men and women on the streets of Little Rock can result in a 30-day jail term.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated December 2020.

Also See:

Arkansas – The Natural State

Arkansas Photo Gallery

You Know You’re In Arkansas When

Quirky Arkansas – Curiosities & Roadside Attractions