BLACK HAWK DOWN: THE UNTOLD STORY is October’s Movies at MacArthur

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Black Hawk Down: The Untold Story presents the heroic efforts of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.  The movie will be shown tonight (October 15) at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.

These men demonstrated extraordinary courage, skill, and discipline as they fought their way into a “baited ambush” to rescue special operations forces pinned down at the crash site of Super Six-One while also attempting a rescue a the crash site of Super Six-Four. Two soldiers were killed and eighteen wounded in what many have described as the most ferocious urban combat since the Battle for Hue during the Tet Offensive in 1968.

The movie is this month’s Movies at MacArthur at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.  It starts at 6:30 pm.  The film series is presented in partnership with AETN, the Bruce Family Endowment, Stone’s Throw, and the City of Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department.

Special guest at the screening will be, Colonel Randall Larsen, USAF (Ret) who is the documentary’s Executive Producer/Director. He served in both the Army and Air Force for a combined total of 32 years of active duty military service and as military attaché at the US Embassy in Bangkok, the chief of legislative liaison at the US Transportation Command, and the commander of America’s fleet of VIP aircraft at Andrews AFB MD. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and 17 awards of the Air Medal (3 with “V” Device for Valor).

Admission is free. Popcorn and Beverages will be provided.

7th Annual Vintage Military Vehicle Show today at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will host its seventh annual vintage military vehicle show on Saturday, October 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Two dozen military vehicles from World War II through Desert Storm will be on display in front of the museum, located at 503 E. 9th Street in downtown Little Rock’s MacArthur Park.  The vehicle show will feature Jeeps and other vehicles from the Arkansas Military Vehicle Preservation Association and the West Tennessee Military Vehicle Collectors Club.

The event features living history performances by World War II Reenactors of Arkansas.  Refreshments are provided by Woodmen Life, Bluebell Ice Cream, and Premium Refreshment Services.

The show appeals to those who have an interest in military history, as well as in vintage cars and trucks.    It is free to the public.

October 1, 2017 – expansion of Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was dedicated

Photo by Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the expansion of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was dedicated.

The expansion more than doubled the area of the garden.  It also allowed for larger sculptures to be installed.

The construction took nearly a year. The design for the garden and the landscaping have all been done by the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department.

A dozen new sculptures were part of the expansion, which brought the total to 66 pieces by 48 different artists.  (More have been added in the past two years.)

The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was originally dedicated in 2009 at Riverfront Park.

Opening of War Memorial Stadium on Sept. 18, 1948

On September 18, 1948, the Arkansas Razorbacks took on Abilene Christian and won the game by a score of 40 to 6.  It was the first game of the season, and the Razorbacks went into the game ranked #13. They maintained that ranking for four weeks before falling out of national standings.  The team ended up with a season record of five wins and five losses. Playing four of their games at War Memorial that season, they were two and two in Little Rock. They were one and two in Fayetteville and amassed a 2-1 record on the road.

Dedication ceremony in 1948. Photo courtesy of the War Memorial Stadium Commission.

Prior to the game, the stadium was dedicated to the veterans of World War I and World War II in a ceremony led by former Razorback standout and Medal of Honor recipient Maurice “Footsie” Britt.

Though Britt would later be known for entering politics and becoming Arkansas’ first Republican Lieutenant Governor, in his college days he was known statewide as an outstanding Razorback football and baseball athlete.  During World War II, his bravery and courage allowed him to become first person in American history to earn all the army’s top awards, including the Medal of Honor, while fighting in a single war.

Also participating in the opening ceremony were a mass of high school marching bands from across the state. Reports indicate up to forty bands were on the field to play the National Anthem as part of the event.

The construction of the stadium had been the brainchild of Razorback coach John Barnhill and Arkansas Secretary of State C. G. “Crip” Hall.  The duo shepherded it through the 1947 Arkansas General Assembly.   As a student at the University, Hall had been a team manager for the Razorbacks and had remained a longtime, active supporter.

In August of 1947, Little Rock was chosen as the location over Hot Springs and North Little Rock. West Memphis had abandoned its bid when it was unable to secure the necessary financial pledges.  Construction started in 1947 and continued up until opening day.  On the day of the game, newspaper photos showed heavy equipment grading the parking lot prior to paving.

The park in which the stadium sat would be renamed War Memorial Park in June 1949 and dedicated by President Harry S. Truman in a nationally-broadcast ceremony from War Memorial Stadium.

On World Lion Day, a look at LIONS PRIDE sculpture in War Memorial Park

 

Saturday, August 10, is World Lion Day.  In honor of that event, today features three of the newest sculptures in Little Rock.

Dedicated on June 26, the trio of leonine creatures are located in the new roundabout at Zoo Drive and Fair Park Boulevard in War Memorial Park.

Lions Pride consists of three sculptures.  Created by Darrell Davis, they are made of cast aluminum. These are likely the first sculptures in Little Rock made of cast aluminum.

One is of a male lion, while the other two depict female lions.  All three are posed in sitting positions atop rocks which were installed last month in the roundabout.

One of the large rocks weighs over 37,000 pounds while another weighs more than 35,000 pounds.  There are several other rocks in the formation which weigh more than a ton.  The rocks were donated by Granite Mountain Quarry.

The project was a partnership between Sculpture at the River Market, the Little Rock Zoo, the Little Rock Parks & Recreation Department, and the Little Rock Public Works Department.  A portion of the money donated for this project was a memorial to former Zoo Director Mike Blakely.