110 years since President Taft visited Little Rock

One hundred and ten years ago today (October 24, 1909), William Howard Taft became the third sitting president to visit Little Rock. His visit is the shortest presidential visit to the city, to date.

In this day of touchdowns at airports by politicians on the political stump, it is interesting to note that the shortest visit was made on a train. It was a true “whistle stop” visit.

Taft’s train arrived at Union Station (then a new building, it burned in 1920 and was subsequently replaced by the one currently standing on that site) in Little Rock to a crowd of 15,000.

President Taft stepped from the train, made brief remarks in a hoarse voice that few heard, stepped back onto the train and departed.

That same day he spoke in Texarkana and Arkadelphia. He was on his way to Helena to speak at a ceremony.

Little Rock Look Back: Taft stops in Little Rock

One hundred and nine years ago today (October 24, 1909), William Howard Taft became the third sitting president to visit Little Rock. His visit is the shortest presidential visit to the city, to date.

In this day of touchdowns at airports by politicians on the political stump, it is interesting to note that the shortest visit was made on a train. It was a true “whistle stop” visit.

Taft’s train arrived at Union Station (then a new building, it burned in 1920 and was replaced by the one standing there today) in Little Rock to a crowd of 15,000.

President Taft stepped from the train, made brief remarks in a hoarse voice that few heard, stepped back onto the train and departed.

That same day he spoke in Texarkana and Arkadelphia. He was on his way to Helena to speak at a ceremony.

Learn about some historic late night killings in the safety of daylight at Old State House

OSH logoAs part of the ongoing Brown Bag Lectures, today the Old State House Museum features “On the Hunt For the Texarkana Moonlight Phantom”

In 1946 a number of murders and assaults were committed late at night in and around Texarkana. The unknown killer was nicknamed by the press the “Moonlight Phantom.” Thirty years later, Arkansas filmmaker Charles B. Pierce loosely based his film The Town That Dreaded Sundown on these incidents. For a special Halloween edition of Brown Bag Lunch Lectures, Brian Irby of the Arkansas History Commission will talk about this spooky, unsettling case that has remained unsolved for almost 70 years.

It will take place starting at noon today at the Old State House Museum.