Arkansas became America’s 25th state on June 15, 1836 . Its name comes from a French interpretation of a Sioux word “acansa”, meaning downstream place.
Thanks to evidence left in mounds and bluffs, it is known that people have lived in the region for thousands of years. Arkansas had abundant wildlife and fertile soil, making it a natural choice for those who gradually developed from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Indian tribes included the Bluff Dwellers, Quapas, Osage, Choctaw and Cherokee once lived there.
Brief Arkansas History
The first European to visit what is now Arkansas was Hernando de Soto, who came in 1541, on his quest for gold. Henri de Toni established the first European settlement in Arkansas, called Arkansas Post, with six residents. By 1799, there were approximately 386 white people living in the region.
Once Arkansas was recognized as a territory, after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the area became more populated. By 1836, with over 60,000 residents, Arkansas was admitted to the Union.
The Arkansas state flag is a diamond on a red field, representing the only place in North America where diamonds have been discovered and mined. The 25 white stars surrounding the diamond represent its order of statehood. Of the interior four stars, one represents Arkansas’ joining the Confederacy, the other three represent its possession by Spain, France and finally the United States.
The Arkansas state bird is the mockingbird, the state flower the apple blossom. The motto is Regnat populus – – The people rule. Arkansas’ nickname is The Natural State.