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Some History on Arkansas: The first European to reach Arkansas was the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto at the end of the 16th century. Arkansas is one of several U.S. states formed from the territory purchased from Napoleon Bonaparte in the Louisiana Purchase. The early Spanish or French explorers of the state gave it its name, which is probably a phonetic spelling for the Illinois word for the Quapaw people, who lived downriver from them. Other Native American nations that lived in Arkansas prior to westward movement were the Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage nations. While moving westward, the Five Civilized Tribes inhabited Arkansas during its territorial period.

The Territory of Arkansaw was organized on July 4, 1819, and on June 15, 1836, the State of Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state and the 13th slave state.

Arkansas played a key role in aiding Texas in its war for independence with Mexico, sending troops and materials to Texas to help fight the war. The proximity of the city of Washington to the Texas border involved the town in the Texas Revolution of 1835-36. Some evidence suggests Sam Houston and his compatriots planned the revolt in a tavern at Washington in 1834. When the fighting began a stream of volunteers from Arkansas and the eastern states flowed through the town toward the Texas battle fields.

When the Mexican-American War began in 1846, Washington became a rendezvous for volunteer troops. Governor Thomas S. Drew issued a proclamation calling on the state to furnish one regiment of cavalry and one battalion of infantry to join the United States Army. Ten companies of men assembled here where they were formed into the first Regiment of Arkansas Cavalry.

Arkansas refused to join the Confederate States of America until after United States President Abraham Lincoln called for troops to respond to the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, by Confederate forces. The State of Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861. While not often cited in history, the state was the scene of numerous small-scale battles during the American Civil War. Arkansans of note during the Civil War include Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne. Considered by many to be one of the most brilliant Confederate division commanders of the war, Cleburne is often referred to as The Stonewall of the West. Also of note is Major General Thomas C. Hindman. A former United States Representative, Hindman commanded Confederate forces at the Battle of Cane Hill and Battle of Prairie Grove.

Under the Military Reconstruction Act, Congress readmitted Arkansas in June 1868.

In 1874, the Brooks-Baxter War shook Little Rock and the state governorship which was finally settled when Grant ordered that Joseph Brooks disperse his militant supporters.

In 1881, the Arkansas state legislature enacted a bill that adopted an official pronunciation, to combat a controversy then raging around the proper pronunciation of the state's name.

In 1905-1911, Arkansas began to receive a small migration of German, Slovak, and Irish immigrants. The German and Slovak peoples settled in eastern part of the state, known as the Prairie, and the Irish found small communities in the southeast part of the state. The German and Slovak's that settled the areas were all Roman Catholic families. The Irish were usually protestant of only one or two persons of a certain family from Ulster, Ireland.

After the case Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1957, the Little Rock Nine incident again brought Arkansas to national attention when the Federal government was forced to again interfere in the Arkansan capital. Orval Faubus, governor at the time, sent the Arkansas National Guard to aid segregationists in preventing nine African-American students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, after attempting to contact Orval Faubus 3 times, sent 1000 paratroops to escort the African-American students on September 25, 1957. This incident eventually led to the closing of Little Rock high schools for the rest of the school year. The Little Rock high schools were completely integrated by the fall of 1959.

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was born in Hope, Arkansas. Before his presidency, Clinton served nearly twelve years as the 50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas.