Little Rock Look Back: Airplane explosion shatters Hillcrest calm

An LRPD officer talks to bystanders next to a piece of debris

An LRPD officer talks to bystanders next to a piece of debris

An LRPD officer talks to bystanders next to a piece of debrisThe peaceful morning of March 31, 1960, was interrupted by a horrendous noise over Hillcrest around 6:00am.  A six-engine B47 from the Little Rock Air Force Base exploded mid-air.

Flaming debris fell from Allsopp Park all the way to the State Capitol grounds and stretched from Cantrell to 12th Street.  Other debris was found as far away as the Country Club of Little Rock.  The next day the Arkansas Gazette ran a map which showed the extent of the damage.

Three airmen died in the explosion.  The only survivor from the crew, 1st Lieutenant Thomas Smoak, was found dangling from a tree in his parachute at Kavanaugh and Martin.  He was treated by a nurse, Jimmye Lee Holeman, in whose yard he had landed.

Two civilians on the ground were killed by falling debris.  Many vehicles and homes were damaged, some were destroyed by debris.  The damage estimate was put around $4 million.

Police and fire crews were quickly on the scene to secure impacted areas, fight fires and rescue injured persons.

Those who perished were Captain Herbert Aldridge, Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds Watson, Staff-Sergeant Kenneth Brose, and civilians Alta Lois Clark and James Hollabaugh.

Today, a portion of the crash site is part of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital campus.  Other sites were removed by the I-630 construction.  Other houses were rebuilt or removed.

While there may not be visible reminders of that fateful morning, to those who lost loved ones, there is still a sense of grief over their loss.  It is a reminder that History is not just places, names, and dates: but events that happened to actual people.

B47 Wreck Map

Arkansas Gazette map of debris and damage

Little Rock Look Back: B-47 Explodes over Little Rock in 1960

An LRPD officer talks to bystanders next to a piece of debris
An LRPD officer talks to bystanders next to a piece of debris

The peaceful morning of March 31, 1960, was interrupted by a horrendous noise over Hillcrest around 6:00am.  A six-engine B47 from the Little Rock Air Force Base exploded mid-air.

Flaming debris fell from Allsopp Park all the way to the State Capitol grounds and stretched from Cantrell to 12th Street.  Other debris was found as far away as the Country Club of Little Rock.  The next day the Arkansas Gazette ran a map which showed the extent of the damage.

Three airmen died in the explosion and two civilians were killed when debris fell on their homes.  The only survivor from the crew, 1st Lieutenant Thomas Smoak, was found dangling from a tree in his parachute at Kavanaugh and Martin.  He was treated by a nurse, Jimmye Lee Holeman, in whose yard he had landed.

Two civilians on the ground were killed by falling debris.  Many vehicles and homes were damaged, some were destroyed by debris.  The damage estimate was put around $4 million.

Police and fire crews were quickly on the scene to secure impacted areas, fight fires and rescue injured persons.

Those who perished were Captain Herbert Aldridge, Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds Watson, Staff-Sergeant Kenneth Brose, and civilians Alta Lois Clark and James Hollabaugh.

Today, part of the crash site is part of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital campus.  Other sites were removed by the I-630 construction.  Other houses were rebuilt or removed.  Fifty-eight years on, there are no visible scars to Little Rock’s landscape caused by the damage.

B47 Wreck Map

Arkansas Gazette map of debris and damage

Last weekend for Young Arkansas Artists exhibit at Ark Arts Center

This weekend is the last chance to see the 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition in the Alice Pratt Brown Atrium and the Sam Strauss Sr. Gallery at the Arkansas Arts Center.

“At the Arkansas Arts Center, we believe that the arts have the ability to educate and empower our children while cultivating a positive form of self-expression,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “We strive to promote quality arts education initiatives and achievement in the visual arts and through this exhibition, we are offering a wonderful platform to celebrate artwork created by our very own Arkansas youth.”

First presented in 1961, the 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition is a celebration of both the creative achievements of young artists and the youthful spirits of Arkansans. Now in its sixth decade, this annual children’s art exhibition showcases artwork by Arkansas students from with hopes to ensure learning, inspiration and creative expression are occurring in our state’s classrooms. In 2013, teachers from 127 schools across Arkansas submitted 508 works for consideration. Of those, 102 works were selected for inclusion in the exhibition.

The exhibition is open to all Arkansas students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Art must be original and completed within the current 2013-2014 school year. Original works in all media including drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, collages, crafts, and sculpture are eligible. Teachers may submit only one artwork per grade level per school or program. Entries must be made through a public, private or home school teacher or instructor of an art program. All artists whose works are selected will receive notification on March 18 and the deadline for delivery of all selected entries is April 11.

arkartsWorks will be selected for the exhibition by the Arkansas Art Educators Association. A juror selects one Best of Class and two Honorable Mentions for each grade, and each winning artist’s school receives a monetary award to supports its art program. Selected works from the exhibition travel to schools and other venues around the state as part of the Arkansas Arts Center’s State Services Program. The juror will also select the following awards: one Middle School and one High School level Art and the Written Word Award, the Ray Smenner Best in Show Painting Award and the Mid Southern Watercolorists Best in Show watercolor award.

The 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition is sponsored by Barbara and Steve Bova, Dale and Lee Ronnel, The Philip R. Jonsson Foundation and The Central Arkansas Library System. Awards for the exhibition are sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Today there will be a Family Festival and Awards Ceremony in celebration of the 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition on May 10 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Activities for kids of all ages will be offered and awards will be presented at 1 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. The events are free for members and exhibition artists, $5 for a non-member individual and $20 for a non-member family. Guests are similarly invited to enjoy a matinee performance of Sleeping Beauty at 2 p.m. in the Children’s Theatre that will also be held on May 10.

For more information, visit arkansasartscenter.org/yaa or call (501) 372-4000.

31st Annual POPS ON THE RIVER sponsored by Arkansas Democrat Gazette; including performance by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

popsonriverPops on the River, presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is the state’s largest Fourth of July celebration and takes place this year on Friday, July 4th in downtown Little Rock.

Pops on the River, in it’s 31st year, is FREE to the public and will begin at noon outside the main gates of the First Security Amphitheater in the River Market Pavilions with a Kid’s Pavilion and Car Pavilion. The event will also have a marketplace with shopping, food trucks, a car show and other activities below the River Market Pavilions.

2-8:30pm – Military Appreciation Tent

All Military members (active, retired or dependents) are encouraged to check-in to receive a discount card to many of the vendors at Pops on the River. Other giveaways including t-shirts and koozies will be available while supplies last.

 

12:00pm – 8:30pm – Kids Pavilion (East Pavilion) sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Join the fun at the pavilion with free bounce houses, crafts, games and activities for the kids. Free Hiland Dairy milk for the kids.

Join us as we Salute the Troops – kid’s are invited to write a letter or color a picture to send to a service man or women serving overseas. Sponsored by St. Vincent.

 

12:30pm – 1:45pm – Jeremy Geyer performs (Pavilion Plaza)

 

2:00pm – 8:00pm – Caricatures by John Deering (Kids Pavilion)

John Deering is the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s editorial cartoonist. The fee of $10 goes to support Our House Children’s Center.

 

2:00pm – 4:00pm – Uncle Sam (Kids Pavilion)

Uncles Sam visits the kids and will perform magic tricks and make balloon animals.

 

2:15pm – 3:30pm – Valley Ray performs (Pavilion Plaza)

 

4:00pm – 5:15pm – Northeast Northwest performs (Pavilion Plaza)

 

5:30pm – Gates to amphitheater open

Chairs, blankets are encouraged. Open amphitheater seating is available, but limited. You can purchase reserved seating for $10 in advance online. No coolers or outside food or drinks. No pets or fireworks allowed.

 

5:30pm – 8:30pm – Smile Photobooth presented by Delta Dental (Kids Pavilion)

Take July 4th themed pictures in the fun photobooth and leave with a free photostrip. You can also view and get a digital copy of your photo at http://www.facebook.com/DeltaDentalAR

 

5:30pm – 9:30pm – Salute to the Troops. Sponsored by St. Vincent (Riverfront Park)

Record a video message to our men and women in the military in our Salute the Troops tent. Free t-shirts to the first 100 who record their videos.

 

6:30pm – The Oh Say! Can you Sing? Finalists perform. (First Security Amphitheater)

Help the judges decide who will sing the National Anthem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and win $500. See the finalists online now at http://www.arkansasonline.com/sing

 

7:00pm – Air National Guard Band of the Southwest (First Security Amphitheater)

The Air National Guard Band of the Southwest, historically known as the 531st Air Force Band, has over a sixty year history of sustaining the traditions and heritage that has become the hallmark of military bands. This forty-member concert band will provide patriotic and Americana music, from Sousa to Broadway to Motown.

 

8:30pm – The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, presented by Delta Dental (First Security Amphitheater)

Conducted by Philip Mann. The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performance is one not to miss.

 

9:15/9:30pm – Fireworks

Celebrate our nation’s independence with the Pops on the River Fireworks finale – shot over the Main Street Bridge and visible to all of downtown Little Rock.

53rd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibit at Arkansas Arts Center through July 27

The Arkansas Arts Center, the state’s leader in international, visual and performing arts, presents the 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition, on view May 9 – July 27, in the Alice Pratt Brown Atrium and the Sam Strauss Sr. Gallery.

“At the Arkansas Arts Center, we believe that the arts have the ability to educate and empower our children while cultivating a positive form of self-expression,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “We strive to promote quality arts education initiatives and achievement in the visual arts and through this exhibition, we are offering a wonderful platform to celebrate artwork created by our very own Arkansas youth.”

First presented in 1961, the 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition is a celebration of both the creative achievements of young artists and the youthful spirits of Arkansans. Now in its sixth decade, this annual children’s art exhibition showcases artwork by Arkansas students from with hopes to ensure learning, inspiration and creative expression are occurring in our state’s classrooms. In 2013, teachers from 127 schools across Arkansas submitted 508 works for consideration. Of those, 102 works were selected for inclusion in the exhibition.

The exhibition is open to all Arkansas students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Art must be original and completed within the current 2013-2014 school year. Original works in all media including drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, collages, crafts, and sculpture are eligible. Teachers may submit only one artwork per grade level per school or program. Entries must be made through a public, private or home school teacher or instructor of an art program. All artists whose works are selected will receive notification on March 18 and the deadline for delivery of all selected entries is April 11.

arkartsWorks will be selected for the exhibition by the Arkansas Art Educators Association. A juror selects one Best of Class and two Honorable Mentions for each grade, and each winning artist’s school receives a monetary award to supports its art program. Selected works from the exhibition travel to schools and other venues around the state as part of the Arkansas Arts Center’s State Services Program. The juror will also select the following awards: one Middle School and one High School level Art and the Written Word Award, the Ray Smenner Best in Show Painting Award and the Mid Southern Watercolorists Best in Show watercolor award.

The 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition is sponsored by Barbara and Steve Bova, Dale and Lee Ronnel, The Philip R. Jonsson Foundation and The Central Arkansas Library System. Awards for the exhibition are sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Today there will be a Family Festival and Awards Ceremony in celebration of the 53rd Young Arkansas Artists exhibition on May 10 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Activities for kids of all ages will be offered and awards will be presented at 1 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. The events are free for members and exhibition artists, $5 for a non-member individual and $20 for a non-member family. Guests are similarly invited to enjoy a matinee performance of Sleeping Beauty at 2 p.m. in the Children’s Theatre that will also be held on May 10.

For more information, visit arkansasartscenter.org/yaa or call (501) 372-4000.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by: the City of Little Rock; the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; the City of North Little Rock; and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Organ Recital This Evening – Scott Dettra

sdThe Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists presents Scott Dettra in an organ recital this evening.  It is a benefit for the Pediatric Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.   The recital takes place at 8pm at Christ Episcopal Church

As the state lead center, the Injury Prevention Center at ACH and UAMS is responsible for developing the master plan of care for children and young adults with brain injuries throughout the entire state of Arkansas.

One of the finest concert organists of his generation, Scott Dettra combines an active concert schedule with his post as Director of Music at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, Texas, where he oversees one of the largest traditional Anglican music programs in the country. Prior to this recent appointment, he was for five years Organist and Associate Director of Music at Washington National Cathedral, where he served as principal organist and assisted with the direction of the Cathedral choirs.

Mr. Dettra’s performances have been praised by audiences and critics alike for their clarity, rhythmic intensity, and musical elegance. Recent and upcoming performances include recital appearances in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, Austin, Winnipeg, Barbados, and Essen, Germany. He has performed at national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Festival appearances include the Lincoln Center Festival, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Arizona Bach Festival, the Bermuda Music Festival, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

Majestus, his most recent recording on the Loft label, features large-scale organ favorites performed on the Great Organ of Washington National Cathedral. Tongues of Fire features French music performed on the 325-rank organ of the Cadet Chapel at West Point, and may be found on the Pro Organo label.

A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Mr. Dettra holds two degrees from Westminster Choir College and has also studied jazz piano at Manhattan School of Music. He has previously held positions at St. Paul’s Parish, K Street in Washington; St. Mark’s Church, Philadelphia; and Trinity Church, Princeton. Additionally, he was accompanist of the American Boychoir for several years. His principal organ teachers have been Joan Lippincott, Dennis Keene, and his father, Lee Dettra.

 

 

Arts Center names Young Arkansas Artists

arkartsctrlogoThe Arkansas Arts Center, the state’s premiere center for visual and performing arts, will host the 52nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition Awards Reception and Family Festival on April 7 from noon – 3 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. in the Children’s Theatre.

“The arts provide children with the opportunity for self-expression and develop a platform for creativity,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “We are excited to share with the community the vast array of creations from our young artists and celebrate their achievements.”

Artists awarded in the 52nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition include:

Kindergarten

  • Best of Class – Michaela Gramsch, Pulaski Academy
  • Honorable Mentions – Kylie Byrne, Christ the King School,Andrew Daniel, Carver Magnet

First Grade

  • Best of Class – Blakely Rochelle, Pine Forest Elementary
  • Honorable Mentions – Chris Jones, McGehee Elementary School, Miss Selma’s School (group project)

Second Grade

  • Best of Class – Aimee Bae, Miss Selma’s School
  • Honorable Mentions – Yvon Munoz, Jonesboro Visual and Performing Arts Magnet, Ty’Won Ware, Seventh Street Elementary School

Third Grade

  • Best of Class – Dustin Cook, Landmark Elementary School
  • Honorable Mentions – Ricardo Alvarez, Wakefield Elementary School, Taylor Watkins, Hugh Goodwin Elementary School

Fourth Grade

  • Best of Class – Jalesa Humphrey, Washington Elementary School
  • Honorable Mentions – Bethany Long, Jasper Elementary School, Jashunti Clifton, Theodore Jones Elementary School

Fifth Grade

  • Best of Class – Chloe Lawhead, Flippin Middle School Schools
  • Honorable Mentions  – Taylor Zhang, Emily Wood Drawing Workshop, Lillian Phillips, Washington Middle School

Sixth Grade

  • Best of Class – Klorissa Hamilton, Highland Middle School
  • Honorable Mentions – Callie Donley, Home School, Trinity Caver, Washington Middle School

Seventh Grade

  • Best of Class  – Mandea McDaniel, Cabot Junior High South
  • Honorable Mentions  – Lauren Lawhun, Alma Middle School, Tom Hopkins, Episcopal Collegiate Middle School

Eighth Grade

  • Best of Class  – Alondra Paredos, Washington Junior High School
  • Honorable Mentions  – Jocelyn Belsma, Caddo Hills School, Drake Omar, Pulaski Academy

Ninth Grade

  • Best of Class  – Jodie Kelso, Forrest City High School
  • Honorable Mentions  – Will Valdary, Annie Camp Junior High School, Emily Brians, Pottsville Junior High School
  • Best in Show Watercolor (MSW award) – Will Valdary, Annie Camp Junior High School

Tenth Grade

  • Best of Class – Olivia Fredricks, Cabot High School
  • Honorable Mentions  – Will Gloster, Arkansas High School, Lulu Wang, Pulaski Academy

Eleventh Grade

  • Best of Class  – Zach Blair, Little Rock Central High School
  • Honorable Mentions – Bryant Carter, Jacksonville High School, Kate Hutchison, Mountain Home High School

Twelfth Grade

  • Best of Class – Halen Parnell, Norfork High School
  • Honorable Mentions  – Hayden Thomas Ellis, Arkansas High School, Paige Goodale, Vilonia High School
  • Ray Smenner Award (Best in Show Painting) – Lauren Johnson, DeWitt High School

Members of the Arkansas Art Educators Association juried the entries, selecting approximately 100 works out of the more than 500 submissions for the exhibition. Each winner’s school will receive a monetary prize to help fund the arts program in his/her school. Selections from the 52nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition travel to schools and other venues in Arkansas as part of the Arts Center’s State Services traveling exhibition program.

Guest juror, Dr. Jeff Young, selected one Best of Class and two Honorable Mentions from each grade. Dr. Young earned his doctorate and Master of Arts degree from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University with a specialty in art education. He is currently an associate professor and chair of the art department at the University of Central Arkansas.

Activities at the family festival will include mural painting, storytelling, and exciting opportunities for adults and children to create action art. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family and may be purchased online at www.arkarts.com. Arkansas Arts Center members, 52nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition artists and their families will receive free admission.

The 52nd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition is sponsored by Barbara and Steve Bova, Belinda Shults and U.S. Bancorp Foundation. Awards are funded by Arkansas Children’s Hospital.