Arkansas Fun Facts & Links Arkansas Fun Facts & Links Arkansas was the 25th state in the United States; it became a state on June 15, 1836. State Capital is Little Rock. State Motto: "Regnat populus" - The people rule. Origin of Arkansas's Name: The name Arkansas comes from Arkansa, the French name for Native Americans of the Quapaw tribe and the region they inhabited. State Nickname: The Natural State. Officially known as "The Natural State," Arkansas is known throughout the country for its natural beauty, clear lakes and streams, and abundance of natural wildlife. Nickname for residents: Arkansans Population: Arkansas's population grew 8% from 2000, when the number of residents was estimated to be 2,673,400, to 2,889,450 in 2009. State Beverage: Milk State Bird: The state bird is the Mockingbird, a non-migrating, year-round resident of the state. State Flower: The apple blossom was adopted as the State Flower by the General Assembly of 1901. Apple blossoms have pink and white petals and green leaves. At one time Arkansas was a major apple-producing state. State Fruit and Vegetable: The Vine Ripe Pink Tomato grown in Bradley County is the state's chosen fruit and vegetable. State Gem: Diamond -- Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public. In March 2011, a flawless, 2.44 carat white diamond was unearthed. State Insect: The Honeybee was adopted as the Arkansas State Insect by the General Assembly of 1973. An old-fashioned dome beehive is one of the symbols on the Great Seal of Arkansas. The honey bee is the official state insect of 15 other states. State Instrument: The Fiddle http://www.ozarkfolkcenter.com/ State Mammal: The White-Tailed Deer State Rock: Bauxite State Mineral: The Quartz Crystal -- Montgomery County is the quartz crystal capital of the world. Rock shops and mining opportunities abound. State Folk Dance: The Square Dance State Tree: The Pine Tree. The largest pine tree in the state, reported in September 2003, is a loblolly pine in Mineral Springs. For a list of other Champion Trees in Arkansas, go to: http://www.forestry.state.ar.us/education/CHAMPIONTREESAPRIL2010.pdf. The Arkansas Craft Guild, one of the most famous crafts guilds in the mid-south, is headquartered in Mountain View. Arkansaurus (meaning "Arkansas lizard") was a bird-like, bipedal, meat-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous period. This dinosaur is known from foot bones found in Arkansas. Fossilized foot bones and claws were found in 1972 by J. B. Friday while looking for a lost cow on his farm near Lockesburg. Big Business in Arkansas: Aromatique, Patricia Upton's internationally known fragrance business, is headquartered in Heber Springs. Wal-Mart is headquartered in Bentonville. Other Arkansas businesses include Petit Jean Meats in Morrilton, Riceland Foods in Stuttgart, and Tyson Foods, Inc. in Springdale. For more information on Arkansas businesses contact the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Malvern produces more brick than any place else in the world. Brickfest is held during the last weekend in June. Famous Arkansans include:- Alan Ladd (actor), Hot Springs - Billy Bob Thornton (actor), Hot Springs - Dick Powell (actor), Mountain View - Douglas MacArthur (5-star general), Little Rock - Edward Durrell Stone (architect), Fayetteville - Eldridge Cleaver (black activist), Wabbaseka - G.M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson (actor), Little Rock - Glen Campbell (singer), Delight - Helen Gurley Brown (editor), Green Forest - Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (baseball player), Lucas - John Gould Fletcher (writer), Little Rock - John Grisham (author), Jonesboro - John H. Johnson (publisher), Arkansas City - Johnny Cash (singer), Dyess - Mary Steenburgen (actress), Newport - Maya Angelou (author and poet), Stamps - Orval Faubus (former governor), Combs - Sarah Caldwell (symphony conductor), Fayetteville - Scott Joplin (musician/composer), Texarkana For more, go to: http://www.arkansas.com/things-to-do/famous/ Geology - The Ozark Plateau and the Ouachita Mountains are the two major ranges in the state. The Ouachita Mountains are unusual because they run east and west. Most mountains run north and south. Arkansas features golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Edmund B. Ault and other great course designers. The Natural State Golf Trail features 13 sites and 15 beautiful and challenging courses located throughout Arkansas. Public and semi-private golf courses are abundant in Arkansas, and you will find plenty of daily fee courses to play your way through in The Natural State. Hope, birthplace of our 42nd president, William Jefferson Clinton and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is also home of the world's largest watermelons. Hot Springs National Park -- Congress established Hot Springs Reservation on April 20, 1832 to protect hot springs flowing from the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain. This makes it the oldest area currently in the National Park System--40 years older than Yellowstone National Park. People have used the hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. Built just before the turn of the century as the city's unique Riverfront Hotel, the ornate building soon became widely-known as "Miss Laura's," the premier bawdyhouse in the rough-and-tumble part of Fort Smith along the Arkansas River. "Miss Laura's" is reportedly the only former house of prostitution on the National Register of Historic Places. Mount Magazine State Park -- Through partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Arkansas's newest state park is located in the Ozark National Forest high atop 2,753-foot Mount Magazine, the state's tallest mountain. The highest relief between the Rockies and the Appalachians, Mount Magazine offers vistas of broad river valleys, deep canyons, and distant mountains. Altitude, geography, and climate combine to create unique habitats for rare plants and animals. The Old Mill, located at Fairway Ave. & Lakeshore Drive in North Little Rock, is a historic re-creation of an 1880s water-powered grist mill. The mill was seen in the opening scenes of David Selznick's 1937 movie classic Gone With The Wind, and is believed to be the only remaining structure from the film. The Ouachita River is Arkansas's lowest point at 55 feet, (17 m) above sea level. The Ouachita River begins at the base of Rich Mountain, the state's second-highest peak, and flows south through Arkansas to Louisiana. Major rivers are the Arkansas River and the Mississippi River. Many of Arkansas's rivers are calm enough that you can float them. Some of the state's most prominent rivers for floating are the Buffalo River, Little Red River, and the White River. Toltec Mounds State Park -- Arkansas's tallest remaining, prehistoric Native American mounds are preserved at this National Historic Landmark site near Little Rock. A World Record Brown Trout weighing 38 lb., 9 oz., was caught on the North Fork River by Huey Maney on August 1988. Six days later, David Wooten caught a 34 lb. 8 oz. brown trout. In May 1992, H. "Rip" Collins topped Maney's world record when he caught a 40 lb., 4 oz. brown trout in the Little Red River.