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Arkansas River and Fort Smith, Arkansas
The Arkansas River and Fort Smith, Arkansas

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Arkansas Became a State
June 15, 1836

Arkansas became the 25th state of the United States on June 15, 1836. Native Americans, known as bluff dwellers, first lived in Arkansas. They had a thriving culture along the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers as far back as 500 A.D. In the 16th and 17th centuries, both the Spanish and the French explored the region. The United States acquired the land from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Its history since then is rich in achievement and controversy.
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