Memories of Isaac Hayes is the topic of Old State House Museum Brown Bag lecture today at noon

Memories of a Soul Man: On the Road with Isaac Hayes — A Conversation with Chris Cockrell

Join the Old State House Museum on Thursday, June 20, from 12:00-1:00 pm as Chris Cockrell, an Arkansas native that worked as producer and road manager for Isaac Hayes in the 1990s and early 2000s, shares his stories of working and touring the world with Hayes in a conversational interview.

Isaac Lee Hayes Jr. was an iconic American singer, songwriter, actor, and producer. One of the creative forces behind the Southern soul music label Stax Records, he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a session musician and record producer.

Hayes teamed with partner David Porter during the mid-1960s on soul standards as “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin,'” and reached the top of the charts on his own in 1971 with the #1 smash, Theme from “Shaft.”

Bring your lunch; they provide soft drinks and water. Admission is free.

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1945 Commissioning of USS Little Rock

Following the 1944 launch of the USS Little Rock, there were still several months before the ship was ready to officially join the US Navy fleet.

On June 17, 1945, the USS Little Rock was officially commissioned and joined the fleet.  While Europe had surrendered by this time, the war in the Pacific continued.

The commissioning took place at the US Naval Yard in Philadelphia.  At the start of the ceremony, an invocation was given by the Ship’s Chaplain, Lt. C. L. Dickey.  Then Rear Admiral Draemel, the Commandant of the Fourth Naval District gave an address.

The simultaneous raising  the ensign, jack and commissioning pennant were accompanied by the National Anthem.  This marked the actual moment the ship joined the fleet.  Captain W. E. Miller, then ceremonially reported to the Commandant that the ship had been placed into commission.  He was then formally placed in command of the USS Little Rock.

The First Watch was set, followed by an introduction of Little Rock Mayor Dan T. Sprick.  Captain Miller then made an address, and Chaplain Dickey provided a benediction. The crew of the USS Little Rock was dismissed, followed by “Retreat” on the bugle. The program ended with tea being served to the crew in the respect messes.

Any member of the original crew  during the ceremony was issued a card indicating he was a Plank owner.  This entitled him to ownership of one of the planks on the weather deck of the ship.

Remembering LR Mayor John Widgery

On June 17, 1802, future Little Rock Mayor John Widgery was born in Portland ME to Mr. and Mrs. William Widgery.  His father died in 1804.  At the age of 11, John Widgery entered Bowdoin College.  He was the youngest student admitted to the college.

Widgery studied law with his uncle, Nathan Kinsman.  He married Ann L. Woodward, who was from Boston MA.  According to Bowdoin College records, he later “wandered away into the Southwest” spending time “in the Cherokee country.”

Widgery spent most of his adult life in the south. For a time Widgery was clerk of the Mississippi House of Representatives.  He then moved to Little Rock prior to 1840.  By 1840, he was Recorder for the City of Little Rock.

According to media reports at the time, several tradesman groups encouraged Widgery to run for Mayor in January 1841.  He did run but lost to Rev. Samuel H. Webb.  The next year, Widgery ran again and this time was elected Mayor.  He took office in January 1842.  On May 24, 1842 he resigned from office.  He later served as Secretary of the Arkansas Senate (where he made $8 a day when the Senate was in session).

Widgery eventually settled in St. Louis.  He later returned up north.  He died on August 2, 1873 in Portland ME and is buried there.  He and his wife did not have any children.

No known painting or photograph of Mayor Widgery exists.

Happy 183 to Arkansas

Today is the 183rd birthday of the State of Arkansas.

For those who remember the Sesquicentennial – yes it has indeed been 33 years since that celebration! (We are now closer to the Arkansas Bicentennial than we are the Sesquicentennial!)

Congress approved it as the 25th state on June 15, 1836.  (On June 22, 1868, Arkansas was readmitted to the union following the Civil War – but it is the first statehood date that is celebrated.)

On January 30, 1836, a convention was held in the Arkansas Territory for the purpose of adopting a constitution which would be submitted as part of a request for statehood.

The law granting statehood also established the state as a judicial district known as the Arkansas District.  The judge for that district would be paid $2,000 a year.  (The equivalent of $52,230 today.)  An attorney for the US was also created. That position would be paid $200 in addition to his stated fees. (The equivalent of $5,223 today)

 

June 2nd Friday Art Night – Old State House Museum celebrates Arkansas’ 183rd Birthday

Image may contain: drawing

Celebrate Arkansas’ 183rd birthday at the Old State House Museum’s annual Statehood Celebration on Friday, June 14, 2019, from 5:00-8:00 pm!
Learn what life was like in Arkansas in 1836.

Meet Living History Interpreters portraying artisans, skilled craftsmen, militia, shop owners, tavern workers, as well as gamblers, a medicine man, and even a magician from the 1836 era.

Play period games like skittles, graces, and faro.

Enjoy the puppet theater, hands-on activities for visitors of all ages, dancing, and live music from the Ozark Highballers!

Refreshments provided.

Free Admission!