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The Arkansas River, flowing northwest to southeast, divides the state in two. Little Rock, the state’s capital and largest city sits on a bluff on the south bank of the river. Founded in 1812, the city got its name from the French “la petite roche," or "little rock," a stone outcropping on the bank of the Arkansas River used as a landmark by early navigators. Called “Little Rock” to distinguish it from a huge cliff upstream called "Big Rock,” it became a convenient spot to land before venturing into the Ozark and Ouachita mountain ranges. Before the Civil War, the little rock outcropping was larger, but the railroad chipped out a few tons of it to build a bridge foundation. So, little rock is littler today.
Things to See in Little Rock:
? State Capitols
Little Rock has three state capitols. The original is in the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, a collection of historic, pioneer-era buildings.
The second Capitol―the oldest surviving state Capitol west of the Mississippi and the first site of the state legislature―is now the Old State House Museum, a classic Greek Revival on the bluffs of the Arkansas River. It’s also the site of President  Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 election-night celebrations. The museum houses Arkansas state history, native art,  beats by dre studio ebay a collection of Civil War battle flags and the state’s First Ladies’ inaugural gowns.
The current Arkansas State Capitol, designed in 1899 and completed in 1916, is a gold dome, quarter-scale replica of the nation’s Capitol. It sits on a hilltop west of downtown Little Rock at the former site of the old State Penitentiary. Made of Arkansas white marble and granite, the building is similar to the nation's Capitol but with the unique distinction of six, 4-inch thick, handcrafted Tiffany brass doors that shine like six gold bars.
Check it out: . . . At Christmas the Capitol is ablaze in white lights that reflect off the elaborately  beats by dre headphones red carved brass doors. Amid all this twinkling white light is the word "Peace" spelled out in a cool sapphire blue from five circular windows above the main entrance. Beautiful.
Tip: Another seasonal feature is the 100 Christmas trees on the lawn, representing Arkansas counties. Each tree is decorated based on the unique feature of the county. A festive way to learn about Arkansas counties.
? MacArthur Park Historic District or Quapaw Historic District
Downtown Little Rock's oldest surviving neighborhood is MacArthur Park Historic District (also known as Quapaw Historic District, named after the Quapaw Indian tribe). The focal point is MacArthur Park, located on 36 acres originally set aside in 1837 for an arsenal to protect the fearful settlers from Indian attacks, which never came. In the late 1800s German immigrants settled around the arsenal, building homes ranging from modest cottages to some of the most elegant 19th century homes. The neighborhood is also the birthplace of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur born in April 1880. The Quapaw Historic District preserves these classic Victorian homes from Little Rock’s past, one of which is the 1881 Villa Marre featured in the opening scenes of the former television show “Designing Women.”
? Central High School National Historic Site
Now a national historic site, Central High School was the scene of the 1957 school  beat by dre solo hd integration crisis in which nine black students showed up to attend Little Rock Central High School under a 1954 Supreme Court ruling against racial segregation. Although the city expected to be one of the first southern cities to comply  beats by dre apple with the new law, the governor called in state troopers to block the students from attending, fearing violence and property damage from protestors. After three  cheap beats by dr dre weeks the troops were withdrawn and the local police escorted the students through a side door,  monster beats by dre studio only to be ushered out again four hours later. U.S. Congressman Hays and Little Rock Mayor Mann appealed to the federal government and President Eisenhower dispatched one thousand soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army to the site, and that settled it. The nine students entered the school, stayed the full term and eventually graduated. Central High Museum and Visitor's Center commemorates this historic event.
? The Old Mill
Fans of the movie “Gone With the Wind” will enjoy a visit to the Old Mill in North Little Rock. A historic re-creation of an 19th century water powered grist mill, it was featured in the early scenes of the classic film.
ARKANSAS TOURIST INFORMATION: (800) 872-12590
Priscilla Faith Rhodes is the author of DISCOVER AMERICA DIARIES: 50 STATES, 50 STATES OF MIND, and co-publisher of the award-winning website, Postcards from America, , a edu-travel site that helps students and families learn about America through postcards.

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