Arkansas April 12, 2016
The 13 Weirdest And Strangest Things That Have Ever Happened In Arkansas
Arkansas is a cool place, and like all cool places, Arkansas has its fair share of oddities. Here are 13 of the weirdest things you might not know happened in the Natural State:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. In Prescott, a traveling salesman named Mike, whose last name wasn’t known to anyone, was embalmed and put on display outside a funeral home. His corpse was nicknamed “Old Mike.” He died in 1911 and wasn’t buried until 1975.
2. In 1927 there was a really nasty flood that totally devastated millions of acres of Arkansas farmland. The Arkansas legislature responded by making it illegal for the Arkansas River to rise higher than the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.
To date, no one has yet attempted to arrest the river.
3. In 2011, more than 1,000 blackbirds fell from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas. Why? Well, it’s the apocalypse, of course. No, it’s aliens. Maybe a secret government weapon? Actually, no one really knows.
4. In 2013, more than 500 earthquakes rocked and rolled their way through the small town of Guy.
5. Arkansas has its own Big Foot, complete with multiple sightings and hair-raising tales. It’s called the Fouke Monster or Boggy Creek Monster.
Someone even made a movie about it.
6. In the late 1800s, hanging judge Isaac Parker, who was in charge of enforcing the rule of law in the Indian Territory, condemned 80 people to be hanged by the neck until they were dead. His gallows still stand and have become a tourist attraction.
7. In 2013, only Detroit had a higher crime rate per citizen than Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Pine Bluff only has a population around 49,000.
8. Van Buren’s Fairview Cemetery has a very old grave. Does it belong to a Viking? To one of Hernando DeSoto’s men? Was it just some random early Van Burenite? Theories abound, but no one actually knows.
9. Since the 1950s, Arkansas has been trying to help its native bear population rebound. Somehow it’s become totally legal to kill a bear in Arkansas under the right circumstances. And totally illegal to wake one with flash photography.
10. Elvis was sworn into the army at Fort Chafee, near Fort Smith. He also famously had his hair cut there.
11. In its heyday, Hot Springs was visited by both president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and mobster Al Capone.
Yep. They came for the baths.
12. In June of 1933, infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde hid out in a tourist camp in Fort Smith.
13. Love cheese dip? Well, it didn’t come from some distant land. Cheese dip was invented by North Little Rock native Blackie Donelly.
You’re welcome, America.
Does your town have a weird story? Do you know any more Arkansas oddities? Tell us all about them!