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5 Fun Facts About July 12 In Arkansas History

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

1. In 1862, Union forces led by Colonel James M. Williams captured Fort Smith, Arkansas, a stronghold for Confederate troops during the Civil War. The victory gave the Union control over the Arkansas River Valley and helped pave the way for the eventual capture of Little Rock.

2. On July 12, 1912, the Arkansas State Normal School (now known as the University of Central Arkansas) was established in Conway. The school's mission was to train teachers for the state's growing public school system, and it remains a vital institution for teacher education and research to this day.

3. In 1942, the U.S. Army opened Camp Robinson in Pulaski County as a training center for the 5th Armored Division. The base would go on to play a crucial role in World War II and would later become home to the Arkansas National Guard and the Joint Force Headquarters for the Arkansas National Guard and the Arkansas Air National Guard.

4. On July 12, 1962, civil rights activist James Meredith became the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi, sparking a wave of violence and protests across the state. The events in Mississippi helped galvanize the civil rights movement in Arkansas and other Southern states.

5. In 1996, the city of Bentonville became home to the first Walmart Supercenter, marking a major milestone for the retail giant and solidifying its status as one of the world's largest corporations. Today, Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville and employs thousands of Arkansans at its stores and distribution centers.
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