Little Rock, Arkansas, the state capital, seat of Pulaski County, and largest city in Arkansas. Little Rock is sometimes called the City of Roses. It is on the south bank of the Arkansas River, across from North Little Rock, in the central part of the state. Little Rock is situated in a productive farming and livestock-producing area near the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains. Bauxite (an aluminum ore) and timber are produced nearby. Much of the city's economy is based on processing agricultural and forest products and on light manufacturing. Little Rock is a river port and a regionally important highway and air transportation center. Just northeast of the city is Little Rock Air Force Base.
The state capitol, built mostly of Arkansas marble, is patterned after the national capitol in Washington, D.C. At theHistoric Arkansas Museum are 13 buildings dating to the early 1800's. The Old State House, now preserved as a historical museum, attracts many visitors. General Douglas MacArthur's birthplace, in MacArthur Park, is part of the Arkansas Museum of Science and History. Also in MacArthur Park is the Arkansas Arts Center, for the visual and performing arts. The Arkansas State Fair is held in Little Rock each year. Little Rock is the seat of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Philander Smith College.
Little Rock was laid out in 1820 and became the territorial capital in 1821. It was incorporated as a city in 1835 and became the state capital in 1836, when Arkansas was admitted to the Union. During the Civil War Little Rock was held by the Confederacy until September, 1863, when it was surrendered to Union troops. The city grew rapidly after the war. In 1957, Little Rock received worldwide attention when Governor Orville Faubus sent state militia to Central High School to block compliance with a court order to integrate the school. Federal troops were sent to enforce the integration order.