LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Today is Arkansas’ 182nd birthday!

On June 15, 1836 Arkansas became the 25th state in the nation. 

To celebrate, here are ten facts you might not know about the Natural State. 

1. The state contains six national park sites, two-and-a half million acres of national forests, seven national scenic byways, three state scenic byways, and 50 state parks.

2. North Little Rock’s Burns Park is one of the nation’s largest municipal parks.

3. The World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest is held annually in Stuttgart.

4. Arkansas is the leading producer of rice in the United States, providing about 46 percent of the nation’s supply.

5. The Little Rock Nine changed the face of the civil rights movement when they walked into Little Rock Central High School in 1957 after Brown vs. The Board of Education ruling deemed segregation unconstitutional. 

6. Arkansas-native Hattie Caraway was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in November 1932.

7. Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.

8. Pine Bluff native Freeman Owens was the first person to successfully add sound to film.

9. Mountain View is home to one of the largest producers of handmade dulcimers in the world.

10 Forty-seven hot springs flow from Hot Springs Mountain, at an average temperature of 143 degrees.

BONUS: Crater of Diamonds State Park, located just outside of Murfreesboro, allows dedicated prospectors to search for precious gems including diamonds, amethyst, garnet, jasper, agate, and quartz.

Information found from the links listed below.