After several months of renovations to the building, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History reopens today.
The museum closed in March 2018 for five months of extensive structural work. The $1.5 million renovation for the 178-year old structure included both interior and exterior upgrades. The first phase of the project, which began last December, involved renovation to the north and south porches and was partially funded by a Historic Preservation Restoration Grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage. The interior renovation includes upgrades to the heating and cooling systems, installation of new lighting, and repainting of interior gallery spaces.
Funding for the renovations came from proceeds of a hotel tax which was approved by Little Rock voters in February 2016.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History was created to interpret our state’s military heritage from its territorial period to the present. It is a program of the City of Little Rock’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
Located in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal–the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur–the museum preserves the contributions of Arkansas men and women who served in the armed forces. Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, weapons, documents, uniforms and other military items that vividly portray Arkansas’s military history at home and abroad.
In conjunction with the reopening, there will be a belated 125th birthday party for MacArthur Park. (The park actually opened on July 4, 1893.) Originally known as Arsenal Park, it became known as City Park shortly thereafter. In 1942, it was renamed in honor of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was born there. At the time he was commanding US troops in the Pacific Theatre of Operations during World War II.
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Vintage Military Vehicle Show featuring military vehicles from the Arkansas Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. – Grand Re-opening of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
- Music provided by Five Star Brass Quintet of the 106th Army (Arkansas) Band
- Remarks and Ribbon Cutting re-opening the military museum following a $1.55 million renovation
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – MacArthur Park History Walk
Explore MacArthur Park using a “passport” to learn more about the park’s history during the territorial/Civil War periods, late 19th century/early 20th century periods, and World War II/Modern periods. There will be eight “passport sites” in total, with other sites to visit as well. Passports and Park materials may be picked up at the MacPark Group Table. Stamped passports to all eight sites may be turned in for raffle prizes from the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock Parks, Arkansas Paranormal Expo, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Mac Park Group, Quapaw Quarter Association, and others.
- AAC Friend Level Membership.
- AAC Children’s Theatre Tickets (4).
- Flat Screen Television- MacPark Group.
- AAC class/workshop.
- QQA- ticket to Spring Tour of Homes and ticket to Mother’s Day Brunch.
- MMAMH- Gift basket and passes to the 8th Annual Paranormal Expo.
- Parks and Rec- Round of Golf at Rebsamen Gold Course.
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Woodmen Life will provide grilled hot dogs and chips to first 400 visitors. Bottled water courtesy of Premium Refreshment Services. Bluebell ice cream will be provided free. Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches.
12:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Concert by Funkle Sam of the 106th Army (Arkansas) Band on the North Plaza. Katie Sunshine will be hoop dancing with Funkle Sam.
4:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Evening German Biergarten. Local breweries set up to sell beers. *Will have entry fee of $10 which will buy admission, three beer tokens, and a bratwurst plate.