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Timeline of Little Rock, Arkansas facts for kids

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The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.

18th-19th centuries

History of Arkansas
  • By year
  • Pre-statehood
  • U.S. Civil War
  • Since 1900
  • Topics: African-Americans - Cities - Politics
Flag of Arkansas.svg Arkansas portal
1887 Perspective map of the city of Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1887
  • 1722 – French explorer Jean-Baptiste Benard de la Harpe lands near a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River, which he reputedly names la Petite Roche (the little rock). La Harpe builds a trading post near the little rock. The Quapaw Indians reside nearby.
  • 1812 – William Lewis, a fur trapper, builds a temporary seasonal home near the little rock.
  • 1814 Colonel Edmund Hogan, builds 1st home and ferry at the little rock where the road from Missouri crossed the Arkansas River
  • 1815 Colonel Edmund Hogan is signer of Grand Jury of the county of Arkansas, Territory of Missouri, requesting a company of regular troops be stationed in said county, April, 1816
  • 1816-1818 Colonel Edmund Hogan represented Arkansas County in the 3rd Territorial General Assembly of Missouri in 1816 and 1818
  • 1818 Colonel Edmund Hogan appointed first justice of Peace of Pulaski county
  • 1820
    • Jan 1820 Colonel Edmund Hogan sold his ferry and settlement on the Arkansas River at Little Rock to William Russell (The ferry was later owned by first territorial secretary Robert Crittenden)
    • Little Rock is surveyed.
    • Robert Crittenden, born 1797, and Chester Ashley, born 1791, enter into an agreement for a "Partnership in the Practice of Law" which lays the groundwork for the Rose Law Firm, the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River.
  • 1821
    • March 21, 1821 Colonel. Edmund Hogan appointed as Brigadier General of the Arkansas Militia, by U.S. President Monroe.
    • Matthew Cunningham arrives in Little Rock. He is the first physician in the city.
    • Little Rock becomes the capital of the Arkansas Territory formed in 1819; and seat of Pulaski County.
    • Arkansas Gazette in publication.
    • Little Rock briefly renamed "Arkopolis."
  • 1825 - Little Rock Tavern in business (approximate date).
  • 1830 - Advocate (Whig) newspaper begins publication.
  • 1831 – Little Rock is incorporated as a city.
    • Dr. Matthew Cunningham is elected the first mayor of Little Rock. His descendants reside in the city as of 2014.
  • 1833 – Arkansas State House (now Old State House Museum) is built. Completed in 1842, it serves as the State capitol until 1911.
  • 1836
    • Jesse Brown becomes mayor.
    • Arkansas becomes the 25th State, and Little Rock became the official capital city.
    • Pulaski County Lyceum active (approximate date).
  • 1837 - Antiquarian and Natural History Society and Bar Association founded.
  • 1838 - Steam ferry begins operating.
  • 1839 - Little Rock Theatre opens.
  • 1840 - The Tornado newspaper begins publication.
  • 1841 - Little Rock Arsenal (now MacArthur Museum of Military History) is completed. It serves as a storehouse for U.S. ordnance.
  • 1843
    • Mount Holly Cemetery established.
    • William Woodruff's Circulating Library in business.
  • 1845 - Catholic church built.
  • 1850 - Population: 2,167.
  • 1858 - Mechanics' Institute established.
  • 1859 - St. Johns military college opens.
  • 1860 - Population: 3,727.
  • 1861
    • U.S. Captain James Totten surrenders Little Rock Arsenal to Governor Henry M. Rector.
    • Arkansas joins the Confederacy.
  • 1863
    • Union forces occupy Little Rock.
    • Daily Pantograph newspaper begins publication.
  • 1864 – 17-year-old David Owen Dodd is hanged on January 6 for being a Confederate spy.
  • 1866 - Little Rock Police Department formed.
  • 1867 - Mercantile Library founded.
  • 1868
    • Arkansas constitutional convention held.
    • Little Rock National Cemetery established.
  • 1870 - Population: 12,000 (approximate).
  • 1873
    • Baring Cross Bridge constructed.
    • Arkansas Press Association headquartered in Little Rock.
  • 1874
    • The Brooks-Baxter War takes place in Little Rock.
    • Union Station built.
  • 1876
    • Horsecar trams begins operating.
    • Anthony House (hotel) burns down.
  • 1877 - Walden Seminary founded.
  • 1879 - Telephone begins operating per Western Union Telegraph Company.
  • 1880 - General Douglas MacArthur born on January 26 in The Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal. The building is now the home of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, and the surrounding area is called MacArthur Park.
  • 1881 - Little Rock United States Post Office and Courthouse built.
  • 1882 - Cathedral of St. Andrew built.
  • 1883
    • Mosaic Templars founded.
    • Little Rock Electric Light Company begins operating.
  • 1884
    • Waterworks system and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral built.
    • Minister's Institute founded.
  • 1885 - Walnut Grove Methodist Church built.
  • 1887 - Little Rock Electric Street Railway Company chartered.
  • 1888 - Electric street lighting installed.
  • 1890
    • Argenta becomes part of city (until 1917).
    • Population: 25,874.
  • 1891 - Electric streetcars begin operating.
  • 1892 - Fire Department established.
  • 1900 - Population: 38,307.

20th century

1900s-1940s

  • 1908 - Gazette Building constructed.
  • 1910 - Public library and Royal Theater open.
  • 1911 – The current State Capitol building is completed. It is the second building constructed to house the state government, after the Old State House.
  • 1915
    • Little Rock Motor Club active (approximate date).
    • Arkansas State Capitol built.
  • 1916 – Pulaski Heights, one of Little Rock's earliest western suburbs, is annexed by the city, enabling westward expansion.
  • 1917
    • Little Rock Public Library negro branch opens.
    • Little Rock Daily News begins publication.
  • 1921 - Mopac Station rebuilt.
  • 1924 - Albert Pike Memorial Temple, and Federal Reserve Bank built.
  • 1926
    • Little Rock Zoo founded.
    • Donaghey Building constructed.
  • 1927
    • Little Rock race riot, May 4, murder suspect John Carter was lynched and his body burned; a white mob of 5,000 rioted in the black business section, destroying many buildings
    • Little Rock Junior College and The Arkansas Museum of Natural History and Antiquities established.
    • Little Rock Senior High School built.
  • 1929
    • Dunbar Junior and Senior High School and Junior College established.
    • Albert Pike Residence Hotel opens.
  • 1932 - Travelers Field (ballpark) opens.
  • 1937 - Urban League and the Museum of Fine Arts founded.
  • 1940 – Population: 88,039.
  • 1941 - Historic Arkansas Museum opens.
  • 1947 - City Beautification Forum organized.
  • 1948 - War Memorial Stadium (Arkansas) opens.

1950s-1990s

  • 1950
    • Arkansas Governor's Mansion built.
    • Little Rock goes over 100,000 in population within the city and the metropolitan area has 196,000 people.
  • 1951
    • Pratt C. Remmel becomes mayor.
    • Pulaski County Historical Society established.
  • 1953 - Pulaski County Historical Review begins publication.
  • 1955 - Little Rock Air Force Base activated near city.
  • 1956 - Community Theatre of Little Rock founded.
  • 1957 – The Little Rock Nine are enrolled at Little Rock Central High School after public protests, and the Arkansas National Guard under the direction of Governor Orval Faubus, prevents their first attempt at enrollment. Arkansas was the third most segregated state in the country at the time (behind Mississippi and Alabama respectively) . President Dwight Eisenhower dispatches federal troops to ensure the students' safety and enforce their right to attend school. These events are collectively referred to as the Crisis at Central High.
  • 1958 – All three public high schools in Little Rock are closed for one year by Governor Faubus.
  • 1960 - Arkansas Arts Center founded.
  • 1964 - Dillard's headquartered in Little Rock.
  • 1967 - University Mall in business.
  • 1968 – Construction booms downtown, Worthen Bank Building at 375 feet (114 m) and Union National Bank at 330 feet (100 m) are under construction and replace The Tower Building as the city's tallest buildings. Union National Bank subsequently merged into Worthen, which eventually would become part of Bank of America.
  • 1971
    • Children's Theater founded.
    • Heifer International headquartered in city.
  • 1974 – First National Bank building is under construction and becomes the city's tallest building at 454 feet (138 m) and 30 stories. The building currently is Arkansas headquarters for Regions Bank.
  • 1975 - Central Arkansas Library System headquartered in city.
  • 1976 - Arkansas Repertory Theatre founded.
  • 1979 - Webster Hubbell becomes mayor.
  • 1980 – Population: 158,461.
  • 1983
  • 1985
    • Decorative Arts Museum opens.
    • Pavilion in the Park (shopping centre) in business.
  • 1986 – The Capitol Tower is completed, and at 40 stories and 547 feet (167 m) tall, is the tallest building in Arkansas. The skyscraper's name changed to the TCBY Tower later, and became the Metropolitan Tower as of October 2004. The Stephens Building is also completed, and is 25 stories and 365 feet (111 m) tall when finished. It was named the First South building, and then the Rogers building.
  • 1987 - Lottie Shackelford becomes mayor.
  • 1990 – Population: 175,795.
  • 1991
    • KLVV radio begins broadcasting.
    • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in publication.
  • 1992
    • Bill Clinton presidential campaign, 1992 headquartered in city.
    • November 3: Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States. He delivers an election night acceptance speech from the front steps of the historic Old State House in downtown Little Rock. He is the first person from the State of Arkansas to be elected President. He was elected to a second term in 1996.
    • Sister city agreement established with Hanam, South Korea.
  • 1994 - Sister city agreement established with Changchun, People's Republic of China.
  • 1995 - Jim Dailey becomes mayor.
  • 1997
    • Butler Center for Arkansas Studies headquartered in Little Rock.
    • 40th anniversary of the Crisis at Central High is marked by the opening of a new National Park Service visitor center.
  • 1999
    • June 1: Airplane crash.
    • Acxiom Corporation headquartered in city.
  • 2000
    • Little Rock population: 610,518 (core metropolitan area), 785,024 (primary metropolitan area) in 2000 census.

21st century

  • 2001 - Friendship city agreement established with Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
  • 2003
    • First Little Rock Marathon is held. Counting the relays, 1,615 runners participate in the 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) race, making it one of the top 25 races in the nation for 2003.
    • Little Rock resident Wesley Kanne Clark, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army and former Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), announces his intention to run in the presidential primary election for the Democratic Party nomination.
  • 2004
  • 2005 - Jack Stephens Center (arena) opens.
  • 2006
    • The international charitable organization Heifer International dedicates a $17.5 million world headquarters in downtown Little Rock. The organization announces plans to further develop the 33-acre (130,000 m2) location into the Heifer International Center campus.
    • The Pulaski County Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge, nicknamed the Big Dam Bridge, opens to the public. It extends 3,463 feet (1,056 m) across the Arkansas River, and is the world’s longest bridge specifically built for pedestrians/bicycles.
    • A five-year construction boom of mixed-use, high-rise buildings in downtown's historic River Market district began with over 60 stories of residential and retail property and 240 additional hotel rooms developed. Many residential projects were completed during this period such as the Capital Commerce Center (2002), First Security Center (2004), 300 Third Tower (2006), and River Market Tower (2009).
  • 2007
    • Dickey-Stephens Park, home to the Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball team, opens. The ballpark has a capacity of 7,000, and is situated on the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, Arkansas, opposite downtown Little Rock.
    • January: Mark Stodola becomes mayor.
  • 2008
    • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center opens.
    • Wilson History and Research Center of military headgear founded.
  • 2010 - Little Rock population: 193,524 (city), 699,757 (core metropolitan area), 877,091 (primary metropolitan area) in 2010 census.
  • 2011 – Little Rock's record high temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit is recorded by the National Weather Service in August.
  • 2014 - Little Rock's primary metropolitan population is 902,443.
  • 2015 - French Hill becomes U.S. representative for Arkansas's 2nd congressional district.
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