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Rockefeller Centennial events


The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute of the University of Arkansas and other entities are sponsoring several public events to observe the centennial of the former governor's birth. Along with these events, the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture has digitized certain recordings and images from its Winthrop Rockefeller Collection and made them available online at and Here are the events and links to UALR's collection.

April 1: Rockefeller Digital Project @

The UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture's site provides access to the collection's finding aid and a bibliography of materials, information on the Conference on Race and Ethnicity and instructions on accessing the collection.

April 4: Re-enactment of Rockefeller's tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., State Capitol steps, 10-11:30 a.m.

Rockefeller, the only Southern governor to hold a public memorial service after King's murder, told the April 7 audience that "Arkansas today stands at the threshold of leading the nation in a demonstration of what people of good will, god-fearing people, gathered together can do for a better America." The Arkansas MLK Commission, Gov. Mike Beebe, other living governors and many people who were at the 1968 observance will gather on the Capitol steps to recreate the moment. You can hear Rockefeller's speech at

April 12-13: Political Reform Conference, 4 p.m. April 12-5 p.m. April 13, WRI.

Former Govs. Dale Bumpers, David Pryor and Jim Guy Tucker will join Hendrix professor Jay Barth, state Supreme Court Justice Robert Brown, Center for Public Integrity director Bill Buzenberg, Cook Political Report publisher Charlie Cook, University of Oklahoma professor Keith Gaddie, UALR professor John Kirk and others in dsicussing the government reforms instituted by Rockefeller and current political efforts.

May 1: Virtual Exhibit: Inside the Collection,

A multimedia exploration of the collection by archivists and UALR history professor John Kirk's research on Rockefeller's life and work in civil rights and social justice, industry and agriculture, politics, education and arts and heritage.

May 11-12: Arkansas and Race Conference, UALR

Rockefeller's advocacy for equal rights among the races will be paid tribute at a conference on the African-American experience in Arkansas. Participants are the UALR History Department, the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and the Central Arkansas Library System.

May 25-Aug. 19: "The Rockefeller Influence," Arkansas Arts Center.

The exhibition of works given to the Arts Center by members of the Rockefeller family coincides with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Arts Center, a project brought to fruition in large part by Winthrop and Jeannette Rockefeller.

May 31: Centennial Reception, WRI.

By-invitation-only event the Friday evening before the Winthrop Rockefeller Legacy Event.

June 1-2: Winthrop Rockefeller Legacy Event, WRI.

The fifth annual event, which highlights policies and accomplishments of Rockefeller, will this year focus on the development of philanthropy in Arkansas. Participating organizations will include the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Winrock International and the Arkansas Community Foundation. The first Winthrop Rockefeller Philanthropy Award will be given.

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