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That other anniversary

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Subscribers to the Arkansas History Listserv have been wondering if, with all the hoorah about the Civil War sesquicentennial this year if anyone remembers that Arkansas will turn 175 on June 15.

Forget, hell! The Old State House Museum celebrates Arkansas's statehood every year, this year on June 11, the Saturday before the anniversary. There will be a living history event; theme and hours are still being worked out.

OSHMA — the Old State House Museum Associates — will celebrate as well, by throwing a fund-raiser from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 15 in the 1885 House of Representatives Chamber. There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres, libations, and a silent auction of Arkansas products, including an Arkansas flag to be painted by artist Pat Matthews during the event. Tickets are $75.

Listserv subscribers have noted that the state's sesquicentennial in 1986 got a lot of attention, with a special issue of license plates and a celebration in War Memorial Stadium, where a giant plywood stage in the shape of the state was erected at the 50-yard line.

Just 25 years after Arkansas became a state, it seceded from the Union, and it is that anniversary that is getting all the attention this year.

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