Little Rock Look Back: Elections on New Year’s Day

M_Cunningham_fIn the first few decades of Little Rock, municipal elections usually took place on January 1.  While occasionally they would take place on another day, it was usually when January 1 fell on a Sunday.

On January 1, 1832, Dr. Matthew Cunningham was elected as Little Rock’s first mayor.  He convened the first Town Council meeting at his house later in January.   (More on that meeting in another post later this month.)

By the 1850s and 1860s, elections were still in January but no longer took place on New Year’s Day.   Municipal elections moved to April with the adoption of the 1874 state constitution.  In the late 1940s, they moved to November to be in line with the federal and state general elections.