Original bonds sold for construction of Robinson Auditorium on Dec. 20, 1937

On December 20, 1937, the Little Rock City Council adopted Resolution 1,418 which authorized the sale of municipal bonds to fund the municipal auditorium.

Earlier that year, Little Rock voters had authorized the sale of $468,000 of Municipal Auditorium Bonds.  Since that January election, city leaders had been undertaking various steps to plan for the project.  Finally, they were ready to sell the bonds.  On December 20, a public sale was held.  The US federal government made a bid for the purchase of $418,000 of the bonds. It was the only bid received.

The sale was accompanied by an Emergency Clause so that it would go into effect immediately.  The clause noted: “It is ascertained and declared that by reason of the present economic conditions many citizens of the City are out of work, and the improvements herein provided would furnish work for a large number of persons and thereby add to the peace and happiness of the City; further, that the City has no Municipal Auditorium or facilities for large conventions or gatherings…”

The offer by the US Government to purchase the bonds was in addition to an outright grant of $342,000 to help fund the auditorium.

While there would be other issues in financing and funding the project, the sale of the bonds on December 20, 1937, set things in motion which led to the February 16, 1940, opening.