Arkansas Historical Association 73rd Annual Conference

  • “The Home Front” is the theme for the Arkansas Historical Association (AHA) 73rd annual conference, April 3 – 5, in Washington, Arkansas. All program sessions will be in the 1874 Courthouse and Washington Methodist Church at the Historic Washington State Park. According to AHA President Tim Nutt, “This conference continues the AHA’s look at the Civil War in Arkansas. As the war dragged into its fourth year, the people of Arkansas found themselves in a daily struggle for survival amid widespread shortages of food and other supplies and the depredations of roving bands who preyed on military and civilian targets with equal ferocity.”

In addition to papers on Civil War in Arkansas and the Camden Expedition of 1864, the conference will address the home front of World War II with a session on the Japanese Relocation Camp at Rohwer and an Italian prisoner of war camp at Monticello, as well as a variety of other topics of interest to students of Arkansas history.

Moderators include longtime journalist and political communications professional Rex Nelson, former state historian Dr. Wendy Richter, Dr. Johanna Miller Lewis of UALR, Mark Christ of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and a variety of people from universities and agencies around the state. Dr. Jamie Brandon of the Arkansas Archeological Survey and Dr. Tom DeBlack of Arkansas Tech University in Russellville will speak at the Friday and Saturday luncheons respectively.

Special events include a Thursday evening reception at the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home in nearby Hope and a Friday evening reception at the 1853 Woodlawn House in Washington. Friday afternoon tour opportunities to Civil War sites at Dooley’s Ferry on the Red River, to the World War II Southwest Proving Ground between Hope and Washington or to Historic Washington State Park itself will complement the sessions. “Town in Conflict”, a street drama in Washington highlighting the concerns of the town’s citizens in 1864, will round out the activities for the conference.

The conference, which is supported in part by grants from the Arkansas Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Department of Arkansas Heritage, is open to the public. Teacher in-service certificates will be available. Registration is $10.

For more information contact Donna Ludlow, 479-575-5884 (e-mail, access information on the AHA web site at www.arkansashistorical, or write AHA, Old Main 416, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701.