A State of War: Arkansas Remembers World War I

Heritage Month - Monday, April 24, 2017 Department of Arkansas Heritage - Monday, April 24, 2017

Often dubbed the Great War, World War I had a profound impact on Arkansas. The 2017 Heritage Month theme, A State of War: Arkansas Remembers World War I, reflects the ongoing centennial commemoration of the role of Arkansas – and the entire United States – in the war, as well as the impacts of the war felt back home.

Each year, an original poster celebrating Arkansas Heritage Month is made available to the public. This year’s Heritage Month poster depicts Arkansas soldiers in front of the Logan County Courthouse, preparing to go to war. To receive your free copy, call 501-324-9150 or click here.

Some 71,862 Arkansans served in the war, including 18,322 African Americans. There were 2,183 of these men and women who died in service, more than half from illness, and 1,751 were wounded or injured.

The Old State House Museum, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, served as the backdrop for the World War I Centennial Commemoration kickoff in April. The museum was a fitting setting, as it was designated the Arkansas War Memorial Building in 1921 and was “dedicated to the use of the American Legion, American Veterans of World War I, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and all other statewide, non-profit organizations.” The building retained the War Memorial title until 1947.

Since 1982, Arkansans have celebrated Heritage Month with festivals, special studies, concerts, nature walks, tours and much more! Arkansans host scores of events in communities across the state, all proudly proclaiming the message that Arkansas heritage is worth knowing and celebrating. The Department of Arkansas Heritage sponsors annual Heritage Month Grants to help communities and organizations develop meaningful Heritage Month events and programs in their areas.

“We encourage residents and visitors alike to explore authentic Arkansas opportunities in your areas – and all around the state – throughout May,” Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, said. “Programs and events designed to explore the significance of World War I, life back home during the war and the rich culture of Arkansas are among this year’s Heritage Month offerings.”

For a full calendar of Heritage Month events happening in May, click here.