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Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
#2 natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
Phone: 501-223-6300
Toll-free: 800-364-GAME to charge licenses by mail

The capital of the Arkansas Territory was at Arkansas Post until 1821, when it was moved to the new town of Little Rock.


The name, Arkansas, means "south wind" and comes from a name used by other Indians to describe the Quapaws, one of the early Arkansas Native American Tribes. Many of the early explorers also wrote their own names for the state - Marquette - Arkansoa, LaSalle - Arkensa, DeTonti's - Arkancas, and LaHarpe, who wrote Arkansas. At its admission to the United States in 1836, it was admitted as Arkansas.

Arkansas Post, established by the French under Henri De Tonti in 1686, was the first permanent white settlement in Arkansas. Arkansas was ruled first by France, then by Spain, and again by France before the territory was purchased by the United States in 1803.

Arkansas, under American control, was first a part of the Louisiana Territory and then of the Missouri Territory before it became a separate territory in 1819. Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state on June 15, 1836. James S. Conway was the first governor of the state of Arkansas.

So, How do you really say Arkansas - and why?

There was early division on the pronunciation of the state name. One senator was always introduced as the senator from ARkanSAW and the other introduced as the senator from ArKANSAS. Finally in 1881, the state General Assembly passed a resolution designating the state's name should be spelled Arkansas and pronounced Arkansaw. This pronunciation was chosen to honor the Indians who originally inhabited the state, while the spelling shows the nationality of the French who first explored the area. 


The average annual temperature for the state is 61.4 degrees. F.
The highest monthly average temperature is 93.6 degrees
The lowest monthly average temperature is 26.6 degrees
The record high temperature was 120 degrees on 10 August 1936 at Ozark
The record low temperature was –29 degrees on 13 February 1905 at Pond
Weather information for the central portion of the state: 501-834-0308


The longest length of the state is 240 miles while the longest width is 275 miles. There are 600,000 acres of water in the state. There are 9,700 miles of streams and rivers and 2.4 million acres of national forestland. The main rivers of the state are the Mississippi, St. Francis, White, Arkansas, Red, Ouachita, and their tributaries, all of which drain to the south and southeast. It is bordered by Texas and Oklahoma on the west.  On the east lies the Mississippi River and Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi.  Missouri is on the north and Louisiana is on the south.

Longitude: 89° 41' W to 94° 42' W
Latitude: 33° N to 36° 30' N
Total land area: 52,075 square miles
Total water area: 1,107 square miles
Total area: 53,182 miles
It is the 29th largest of the states 

Highest point: 2,753 feet above sea level at Magazine Mountain.
Lowest point: 55 feet above sea level at the Ouachita River
Average elevation: 650 feet above sea level

The only Diamond mine open to the public on the North American continent is located at Murfreesboro.

The Arkansas Quartz Crystals in the Hot Springs area are world-famous

The top minerals in the state are Petroleum, natural gas and bromine.

Bauxite, the ore used to make aluminum, was discovered in Arkansas in 1887 by State Geologist John C. Branner. Mining began in 1899 and Arkansas soon led all other states in production.

Arkansas supplies 96 percent of the nation's domestic bauxite.


Over the years, Arkansas has had many nicknames.  The official nickname is the “Natural State.”  It was adopted in 1995 and was meant to accentuate the beautiful and natural scenery in Arkansas. Before 1995, the official nickname was the “Land of Opportunity.”  This nickname began in 1947.  From 1923 until 1947, the official nickname was the “Wonder State.”  Again, the motto was meant to help people realize the great beauty and wonder available in the state.  Prior to 1923, the nickname was the “Bear State.”  The legislators thought the nickname gave a poor impression of the state so changed it to the Wonder State.  The “Bear State” nickname was first seen in the mid 1800’s, probably due to the settlers who found many bears in the state.  It was not pronounced bear, but “bar.”

The Natural State: (Official) This nickname was officially adopted by the legislature in 1995 and is intended to highlight the "...unsurpassed scenery, clear lakes, free-flowing streams, magnificent rivers meandering bayous, delta bottomlands, forested mountains, and abundant fish and wildlife." This nickname replaced the official Land of Opportunity nickname following the slogan Arkansas Is a Natural that was used to promote tourism and outdoor recreation.

Among the unofficial nicknames has been the Razorback State, mainly referring to the athletes of the University of Arkansas.  The razorback is a long-legged wild hog common in the state.  Arkansas was also known as the “Hot Springs State” because of their famous hot springs.  Another related nickname was the “Hot Water State.”  The Bowie Knife and the Arkansas Toothpick were both similar types of knives heavily in use in the state.  They both evolved into two other nicknames for Arkansas, the “Toothpick State” and the “Bowie State.”


2000 - 2,673,400
In 2000, Arkansas was the 33rd most populous state.

Attractions & Information:

Arkansas is located in the Central Time zone.



Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
1 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Toll-free: 800-NATURAL

Here is a brief history page for the state.

State Symbols and more about Arkansas

Government Links page for Arkansas
Great links page for all levels of government in Arkansas


Find the weather for anyplace in the USA


This page was created 19 March 2001

This page was last updated on 12 September 2012 at 1:31 pm

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