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5 Fun Facts About February 28 In Arkansas History

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

1. On February 28, 1828, the Arkansas territorial legislature passed a bill that created the first public school system in Arkansas. The law required each county to establish at least one public school and provided funds to pay for the construction of the schools and the salaries of the teachers.

2. The Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, which was fought on April 30, 1864, actually began on February 28, 1864. Union forces under General Frederick Steele were attempting to march from Little Rock to Shreveport, Louisiana, when they were met by Confederate troops near Jenkins' Ferry on the Saline River. The Union forces were able to hold off the Confederates, allowing them to safely cross the river and continue their march.

3. On February 28, 1929, Arkansas' Union Station was completely destroyed by fire. The station had been a major transportation hub for the state and its loss had a significant impact on the economy. The station was eventually rebuilt and continued to serve as a transportation hub until its closure in 1974.

4. In 1958, the Arkansas House of Representatives voted to expel Representative Brooks Hays for his support of racial integration. Hays, who had served in Congress for more than a decade, was a strong supporter of civil rights and had worked closely with President Eisenhower to promote integration. Despite protests from across the country, Hays was ultimately expelled on February 28, 1958.

5. February 28, 1983, was the date of the final arguments in the lawsuit challenging the teaching of creationism in Arkansas public schools. The case, known as McLean v. Arkansas, had been brought by a group of parents and teachers who argued that the Arkansas law mandating the teaching of creationism violated the separation of church and state. The presiding judge would ultimately agree, ruling the law unconstitutional and blocking its enforcement.
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