While Arkansas is known for its rugged and diverse landscape, there’s more to The Natural State than meets the eye. Here are 20 interesting facts about Arkansas:
1 There's only one active diamond mine in the United States and it's in Pike County, Arkansas. The Crater of Diamonds State Park remains a popular tourist attraction.
2 The three largest diamonds to ever come from America were each found somewhere in Arkansas.
3 Hattie Ophelia Caraway was the first woman ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate. She was a Democrat from Arkansas.
4 Arkansas has been home to numerous Bigfoot sightings, and the beast supposedly causes trouble for Arkansas farmers.
5 Arkansas is home to some interesting competitions. Stuttgart, Arkansas hosts the World Championship Duck Calling Contest, and Little Rock is home to the World Cheese Dip Championship.
6 The elevation range of Arkansas varies considerably: the lowest point is a mere 54 feet above sea level while the highest sits at 2,753 feet.
7 Arkansas contains over 600,000 lakes and roughly 9,700 miles of streams/rivers.
8 Arkansas is home to 50 state parks and 2.5 million acres of national forest land.
9 Mountain View, Arkansas is considered the capital of folk music, and it's home to one of the largest handmade dulcimer producers in the world.
10 Arkansas's state bird is the mockingbird, and its state flower is the apple blossom.
11 Famous Arkansawyers include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Billy Bob Thornton, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, and John Grisham.
12 Sam Walton first founded Wal-Mart stores in Bentonville, Arkansas.
13 The Ouachita National Forest is considered to be the oldest forest in the southern United States.
14 The only Revolutionary War incident that took place in Arkansas is known as the Colbert Incident. It occurred in 1783 in Arkansas Post, which was the first white settlement in the state.
15 The official state instrument of Arkansas is the fiddle.
16 Arkansas's name is derived from the Native American word "akansa," which means "south wind."
17 There was much debate about how to officially pronounce the state's name (especially considering the way we pronounce Kansas); however, the pronunciation of "Ark-an-saw" was approved by the General Assembly in 1881.
18 Bill Clinton remains the only U.S. President to hail from Arkansas.
19 Arkansas produces more rice than any other U.S. state.
20 Before the national parks were designated, Hot Springs Reservation in Arkansas was the first piece of recreation land protected by the government