On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) into law, committing the United States to a reversal of the wholesale destruction of historic properties around the country that followed World War II. The act created state historic preservation offices – including the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage – to coordinate preservation efforts and administer federal historic preservation programs.
Perhaps the best known of these is the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of properties worthy of preservation for future generations. While it has no inherent protections, listing on the National Register raises awareness of a properties’ importance in our history and makes them eligible for tax credits and grant programs that can aid in their preservation.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NHPA, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is sponsoring the Arkansas National Register Passport Program, which invites Arkansans and visitors to go to 26 stamping stations around the state, each housed in a National Register-listed site. Passports will be available at each of the stamping sites, at the 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers operated by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, or be requesting them through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have all 26 stamps, you can detach the card at the back (which should have a duplicate set of stamps) and mail it to Arkansas National Register Passport, 1000 La Harpe Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201 in exchange for a commemorative coin or patch.
And don’t despair if the stamping station is not open when you get there – you can take a “selfie” at the station and enclose it with your passport in lieu of a stamp!
The program will run through December 31, 2020, so there is plenty of time to visit all 26 sites!
Arkansas National Register Passport Stamping Sites
- Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park
- Curran Hall, Little Rock
- Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
- Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, Scott
- Conway County Library, Morrilton
- Faulkner County Museum, Conway
- Devil’s Den State Park, West Fork
- Drennen-Scott Historic Site, Van Buren
- Ozark Area Depot Museum, Ozark
- Carnegie Library, Eureka Springs
- St. Joe Depot, St. Joe
- President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace National Historic Site, Hope
- Crater of Diamonds State Park, Murfreesboro
- John Newton House, El Dorado
- Lum and Abner Store, Pine Ridge
- Clark County Historical Museum, Arkadelphia
- Pine Bluff Civic Center, Pine Bluff
- Missouri Pacific Railway Van Noy Eating House (World War II Japanese American Interment Museum), McGehee
- Old Monticello Post Office, Monticello
- Old Crossett Post Office, Crossett
- Delta Cultural Center, Helena-West Helena
- Village Creek State Park, Newcastle
- Greyhound Bus Station, Blytheville
- Powhatan State Park, Powhatan
- Old Independence Regional Museum, Batesville
- Mammoth Spring State Park, Mammoth Spring.