I’m not going to lie, Arkansas is amazing but there are some strange (or interesting) things about this state that you should know!
We are known as The Natural State because of our National Forests, beautiful lakes and unending recreation but, hidden in plain sight are oddities that will blow your mind!
1. Fried Dill Pickles were invented in Arkansas
It was the summer of ’63 and Bernell “Fatman” Austin, the owner of the drive-in, got a wild hair. He sliced dill pickles lengthwise and breaded them in a secret family recipe. The world will never be the same!
Read the full story here: How Fried Dill Pickles Were invented in Arkansas
2. We have America’s Most Haunted Hotel
Yes, that’s right.
The Crescent hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is known as America’s Most Haunted Hotel!
While you’re there check this out: 8 Unforgettable Things to Do in Eureka Springs, Arkansas this year!
3. We chopped off Elvis’s famous hair!
On March 24, 1958, Elvis was sworn into the Army at Fort Chaffee near Fort Smith, Arkansas.
When they cut off his hair to give him a G.I. buzz cut his response was, “Hair today, gone tomorrow!”
It was known as the “haircut heard around the world.”
It’ll grow back. That’s what they always say. ✂️
You can visit the exact spot where Elvis was given this famous haircut at the Chaffee Barbershop Museum!
4. Jesse James hid out in Arkansas
There have been many rumors that Jesse James hid treasure somewhere in the hills of Calico Rock, Arkansas.
This area was possibly used as a hideout by the James/Younger gang after the Civil War.
Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that there are many James and Younger descendants here in Arkansas.
Read about all the outlaw hideouts in Arkansas here: Outlaw Hideouts in Arkansas – Bonnie, Clyde, & the Whole Gang
5. Cheese Dip was invented in Arkansas
It was 1935 and Blackie Donnelly, the owner of Mexico Chiquito, invented cheese dip. And you thought our only claims to fame were Walmart and Duck Hunting….
6. A female pilot from Arkansas raced Amelia Earhart and won!
Louise McPhetridge Thaden from Bentonville, Arkansas was one of the best-known female pilots after Amelia Earhart.
She was so good that she once raced Amelia Earhart and won!
7. It once took Arkansas 64 years to bury a man
It was 1911 in Prescott, Arkansas and a traveling salesman named Mike died.
He was embalmed and his remains were put on display outside a funeral home waiting for someone to identify him.
Mike had no identification on him when he died and his last name was unknown.
No one ever came to identify him.
So, in 1975, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office asked Cornish Funeral Home to bury the body. They gave Mike a small ceremony and laid him to rest in the DeAnn Cemetery.
8. Bonnie and Clyde lived in Arkansas
Not only did the James/Younger gang hideout in Arkansas, Bonnie and Clyde also sought out the hills of Western Arkansas as hideouts.
Bonnie and Clyde used the Dennis Tourist Camp as their hideout.
It was located at 5002 Midland Blvd in Fort Smith.
Don’t miss this: Caves in Arkansas: Outlaws, Bootleggers and Aliens
9. One of the world’s largest springs is in Arkansas
Mammoth Springs, Arkansas got it’s name because it has one of the world’s largest springs. 9 MILLION gallons of water flow from it HOURLY.
In fact, the spring is a National Natural Landmark.
Mammoth Spring forms a 10 acre lake then flows south as the Spring River.
If you want to experience some amazing trout fishing, this is a great place to come.
10. The Grand Ole Opry started because of a hoe down in Arkansas
Mammoth Spring has been credited as providing the inspiration to George D. Hay for the Grand Ole Opry.
Apparently, Mr. Hay was sent on assignment to Mammoth Spring in 1919. While there, he was invited to a hoe down in a local cabin.
He watched a fiddle player, a guitar player and a banjo player perform until dawn.
He was so impressed. That’s when the seed was planted for the Grand Ole Opry.