How a former Little Rock alderman renamed the Razorback’s stadium

Razorback Stadium as it would have looked when it was Bailey Stadium

What is now known as Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium first opened in September 24, 1938 as University Stadium.  A few days later it was renamed to Bailey Stadium in honor of Arkansas’ then current governor, Carl Bailey.  He had just been renominated to a second two year term and was expected to easily glide to a victory in November over a nominal GOP opponent, which he did.

Two years later, Homer Adkins, a former Little Rock alderman who had been aligned with Bailey foe Joe T. Robinson, challenged Bailey as the latter sought a third term.  Bailey and Adkins had long been opponents, but had never faced off personally.  In the August 1940 primary, Adkins bested Bailey.

The animosity between Bailey and Adkins apparently stemmed from the time that Bailey, as prosecuting attorney, filed charges against a friend of Sen. Robinson.  Though the friend was eventually pardoned, Robinson and his political circle did not forgive Bailey.  The fact that Bailey backed Brooks Hays, who opposed Robinson, did not help matters.  By the mid 1930s, Arkansas Democrats were clustered around either Bailey or Adkins.

Adkins had served on the Little Rock City Council from April 1930 until April 1934.  He previously had been Sheriff of Pulaski County.  At the suggestion of Sen. Robinson, President Roosevelt had appointed Adkins as collector of internal revenue. Given all of the federal programs that took place in Arkansas throughout the 1930s, Adkins was well positioned to strengthen his political network.  He stepped down from the job when he challenged Bailey in 1940.

Obviously, by 1941 the new governor was none too pleased that the football stadium of the state’s flagship university bore the name of his vanquished foe.  By the time the 1941 football season came around, the stadium was known as Razorback Stadium.  It held that name from 1941 until the September 8, 2001, rechristening with its current name.

And what of Adkins and Bailey?  The two longtime foes united to back Sid McMath in his gubernatorial efforts. But the reconciliation was only for political purposes.  However, both lie buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Little Rock.

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The Rodney Block Collective takes to South on Main stage tonight

Rodney BlockKick off the Labor Day weekend with some music as hot as the temperatures!

South on Main is turning up the heat this summer with the Rodney Block Collective.

Led by musical favorite Rodney Block, this musical group alternates between various forms of jazz mixed in with gospel, Be-Bop, hip-hop, funk, and soul.

Show begins tonight (August 30) at 10 pm with a $15 cover. Purchasing a ticket does not guarantee you a seat.

Call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table. Reservations require advance ticket purchases to confirm.

US premiere of play THE ROOSTER REBELLION at the Weekend Theater

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The Weekend Theater will stage The Rooster Rebellion by Little Rock playwright Anthony Mariani on Aug. 30-Sept. 8 at the theater, 1001 W. 7th St. in Little Rock.

Show dates are Aug. 30, 31, Sept. 1, Sept. 6, 7, 8. The Sept. 1 matinee starts at 3 p.m.; the Sept. 8 matinee starts at 2:30 p.m. All other shows start at 7:30 p.m.

The story takes place in fall 2015 and summer 2016 in London. Reese Anne, a London teenager, runs away from home to help her ex-history teacher, Shell, who is homeless. They busk by day in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. At night, they live in an underground abandoned tube station, where she tries to create a utopian homeless society, which falls apart on the eve of the Brexit vote.​​​​​

Mariani also directs The Rooster Rebellion, which makes its U.S. debut at The Weekend Theater. The play was staged in 2016 at The Drayton Arms Theatre in Kensington, London, and at The Edinburgh Fringe. In 2017, the play received a third-place award in the London Film Awards Stage Play competition and received third place for best stage play competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2017.

Tickets cost $16 for adults and $12 for students, seniors and military. To reserve online, visit centralarkansastickets.com.

For more information, visit weekendtheater.org or call 501-374-3761.

Chris Milam returns to South on Main stage tonight!

Chris MilamMemphis singer-songwriter Chris Milam comes back to the South on Main stage!

His performance is Thursday, August 29 at 8 PM. Purchase advance tickets for $7 or pay $10 at the door. Tickets do not guarantee you a seat. Call (501) 244-9660 to reserve a table for the show.

Chris Milam’s Kids These Days (2017) debuted in the iTunes Top 40 amid critical acclaim. The album’s stunning poetry, infectious melodies, and innovative sonic landscape earned the Memphis artist a wider audience and rapturous reviews:

  • “Invites–and earns–the Paul Simon comparisons.” –American Songwriter
  • “Offers something deeper.” –Paste
  • “A world class set of songs…Best of 2017″ –Skin Back Alley (UK)
  • ”Highly recommended…beautifully-layered, dark, dynamic, and close to overwhelming.” –No Depression
  • “Pure poetry…heralding fine things from a songwriter who should be heard.” –Popshifter
  • ”Top 20 at SXSW…an introduction to America’s finest.” –Concentus (UK)

The momentum of Kids These Days took Milam from clubs to festivals, from Los Angeles to Liverpool, and all points between. Now, after a year on the road, Chris Milam’s back home in Memphis writing a hotly-anticipated new album. With those songs in hand, Milam’s 2019 performances will offer a sneak peek at what this acclaimed songwriter has in store.

Tinkering and Drinkering at Science After Dark tonight at the Museum of Discovery!

Image may contain: textGet a preview of Tinkerfest 2019 at tomorrow night’s Science After Dark: Tinkering and Drinkering from 6 – 9 p.m. Admission is only $5 or free for members. Here are all the tinkering and making activities you can enjoy with a drink in your hand:
Wind Tunnel Flying Machines
Fairy Houses
Plastic Panel Polygons
Historic Quilling – Old State House Museum
Cardboard Guitars – Old State House Museum
Sewing 101
Wood Cinging (Pyrography)
Native American Tools – The State Parks of Arkansas
Hydrobot Arms
Aluminum Can WWI Trench Art – MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
Free Tesla Shows at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Gondola Design and Zip Lines
Shrinky Dinks
Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
Large Linker Logs
Needle Felting
Perler Beads
Game Goblins
LEGO Windup Critters and Linkages
Zoetropes & Kaleidoscopes
Chain Reaction

Be sure to bring an appetite to purchase food from our presenting sponsor Fassler Hall Little Rock as well as Damgoode Pies. Sponsors Stone’s Throw Brewing and Rock Town Distillery will also sell beer and cocktails! Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at https://sales.museumofdiscovery.org/generaladmission.aspx. You must be at least 21 to enter.

MJ in LR

August 29, 2019, would have been Michael Jackson’s 61st Birthday.

On December 2, 1972, he and his brothers performed in concert at Barton Coliseum. But earlier in the day, they were the grand marshals for the second annual Little Rock Christmas Parade.

They were featured in a full page ad for M. M. Cohn advertising the parade (and of course encouraging persons to stop by the store while they were downtown).

The Jackson 5 sang and waved from the upper level of a London style double decker bus. About fifty kids followed behind the bus yelling their appreciation and singing along.

Writing for the Arkansas Gazette, Bill Lewis notes that the biggest cheers at the parade, however, went to Gary Weir as KATV’s Bozo (even louder than the one’s for Santa).