Butler Center Spotlight Series: Joe David Rice Discusses Arkansas Backstories- April 2019
Arkansas is a complex place—part Old South, part Old West, and part traditional hill country—and has shared an amazing array of people and products with the world over the years. Even so, much of what makes Arkansas so special remains largely unrecognized until now. How many readers, for instance, realize that the first African American presidential candidate was from Arkansas? ? Or that an Arkansan candidate formally challenged John F. Kennedy for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 1960? Or that there’s good evidence that Abraham Lincoln lived for a time in northeast Arkansas, chopping wood for a plantation owner? Come join us as Butler Center Spotlight author Joe David Rice discusses some of the short essays in Arkansas Backstories that offer surprises for even the most dedicated and devoted students of the state.
Joe David Rice, born in Paragould and reared in Jonesboro, is a well-known and respected resource on all things Arkansas. An accomplished promoter of the state, Rice served as Arkansas’s tourism director for thirty years, working under five governors. He enjoys exploring the Arkansas countryside, be it by foot, canoe, or car, and unearthing the lesser–known tidbits that make the Natural State so special.