Newark, Arkansas, is a small town located in Independence County in the northeastern part of the state. Despite its size, the area surrounding Newark had played a significant role in Arkansas and American history. Here are 7 historical events that have taken place near Newark, AR:
1. Battle of Chalk Bluff - In May 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed in a battle near Chalk Bluff, a few miles northeast of Newark. The Union Army under General Frederick Steele was attempting to move towards Little Rock, while Confederate General John Marmaduke sought to stop them. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory, but the Union forces eventually achieved their objective of capturing Little Rock.
2. The Murder of John Clayton - In 1889, John Clayton, a wealthy farmer and businessman, was murdered in his home near Newark. Clayton was well-known in the area and considered to be one of the wealthiest men in Arkansas at the time. The killer was never caught, and the murder has remained a mystery to this day.
3. The Newark School Integration Crisis - In the 1950s and 60s, Newark School became a battleground in the fight for racial integration. In 1955, the school board voted to merge the all-white Newark High School with the all-black Pleasant Plains High School. The decision sparked protests and resistance from white residents, and the schools remained segregated until 1966.
4. The construction of Greers Ferry Dam - In the 1950s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the Greers Ferry Dam, which created Greers Ferry Lake. The dam provided flood control, hydroelectric power, and recreational opportunities to the area. Today, the lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping.
5. The Buffalo National River became a national park - In 1972, the Buffalo National River was designated as a national park. The river, which flows through the Ozark Mountains, is known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. The park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
6. The End of the White River Pack - In 2018, the last known wolf of the White River Pack was killed in the area near Newark. The pack had been one of the few wild wolf packs in the southern United States, and their decline underscores the continuing threat to the survival of wolves in the region.
7. The establishment of the Ozark National Forest - In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Ozark National Forest, which stretches across much of northern Arkansas. The forest provides habitat for numerous species of wildlife and offers opportunities for hiking, camping, and hunting.
In conclusion, the history of Newark and the surrounding area is rich and varied. From battles and murders to national parks and forests, the area has played a significant role in shaping the state and the nation. Whether you are a history buff or just looking for a beautiful place to visit, the Newark area has much to offer.
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