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The state of Arkansas gets its name from the word used by the French explorers to refer to the Quapaw Indians who were native to the area. In 1819, Arkansas, which was part of the Louisiana Purchase, became its own territory, and in 1836, it became state. It was the ninth state to secede from the Union and join the Confederate States of America. For almost 100 years, from 1874 to 1967, every governor of the state was a Democrat. In 1931, the first woman in the United States to serve a full term as a Senator, Hattie Caraway, she was appointed by Arkansas Governor Harvey Parnell, to replace her deceased husband, Thaddeus. In 1932, she won a special election quite handily, and served until January of 1945, being succeeded by J. William Fulbright. Senator Caraway was a prohibitionist and also voted against legislation to outlaw lynching. The state capital, Little Rock, was the center of controversy in 1957 when federal troops were deployed to Little Rock High School in order to ensure that racial integration was implemented as ordered by the United States Supreme Court opinion in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education. The Arkansas National Guard had denied nine black students the right to enter the school. The standoff went on for weeks, and finally, on September 25 1957, those students had their first day in school after being escorted by federal troops, under the orders of President Dwight D, Eisenhower. A few of the more famous people born in Arkansas include former President Bill Clinton, country & western singers Johnny Cash and Lefty Frizzell, soul singer and reverend Al Green, actress Mary Steenburgen. and actor Gil Gerard, who played Buck Rogers from 1979 to 1981.

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