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5 Fun Facts About December 26 In Arkansas History

---Learn Every Day: AR Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ar To: 618-270-4005---

1. The Battle of Elkins' Ferry: On December 26, 1862, a decisive Civil War battle took place in Arkansas known as the Battle of Elkins' Ferry. Union troops under the command of Brigadier General John M. Thayer were able to outmaneuver and defeat Confederate troops led by Major General Thomas C. Hindman. This victory secured Union control of southwestern Arkansas and prevented Confederate troops from regrouping in the region.

2. The creation of Ouachita National Forest: On December 26, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a proclamation creating the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. The forest covers over 1.8 million acres and is known for its scenic beauty, abundant wildlife, and recreational opportunities such as camping, hiking, and fishing.

3. The first Razorback Bowl victory: On December 26, 1980, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks football team won their first-ever bowl game, the Gator Bowl, against the University of Florida. The Razorbacks won the game 31-28, with a last-minute field goal by kicker Ish Ordonez. This victory helped establish the Razorbacks as a competitive force in college football.

4. The release of "Sling Blade": On December 26, 1996, the film "Sling Blade" was released in theaters nationwide. The movie, directed and written by Arkansas native Billy Bob Thornton, tells the story of a man named Karl Childers who is released from a mental institution and returns to his hometown in rural Arkansas. The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay.

5. The establishment of Arkansas State University-Beebe: On December 26, 1927, the Arkansas General Assembly passed a bill officially establishing the Arkansas Agricultural School at Beebe (now Arkansas State University-Beebe) as a branch of the Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University). The school, which was founded in 1909 as a vocational agriculture school, has since grown to offer over 50 degree and certificate programs to students.
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