Election Day: Go On the Stump at the Old State House

Twenty years ago, on Election Day 1992, the eyes of the world were on Little Rock.  That evening William Jefferson Clinton strode out through the front doors of the Old State House Museum and delivered his acceptance speech after being elected the 42nd President of the United States.

On this election day, you can visit the Old State House and visit the permanent exhibit they have on Clinton’s presidential announcement in 1991 and the election nights in 1992 and 1996.  You can also view the exhibit “On the Stump” which looks at campaigns in Arkansas from 1819 through 1919.

In 1819 when the Arkansas Territory was created, the elimination of property requirements for voting combined with the raucous spirit of the frontier produced a new style of mass participation in American politics. The results were crude and often vulgar, but thoroughly democratic. This manifested itself in Arkansas politics less centered on political parties of Arkansas and the ideology of citizens than on the personalities of those involved. So personal were the politics of the times that political campaigns often culminated in duels.  The exhibit was curated by Dr. Carl Moneyhon, Professor of History at UALR.

The Old State House is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  It is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday.