Arkansas Homeland Security and Emergency Services Resources

Before the European settlers arrived in what is now Arkansas, it was home to several Indian tribes including the Cherokee, Choctaw and Arkansa. Hernando de Soto explored the area in 1541 and the French came during the 17th century. But, the first white settlement wasn't founded until 1686 when Henri de Tonty started a trading station, the Arkansas Post.

The United States acquired Arkansas as a part of the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. In 1812, Arkansas became a part of the Missouri Territory and remained so until 1819 when Congress granted it territorial status. It entered the Union and became the 25th state in June of 1836.

A large number of settlers began migrating to the state after it became a territory. And, over several decades, the cotton industry became wide spread. Even today, the state is still one of the largest producers of cotton in the nation. However, food products are the main economic sector, with lumber and the production of wood products coming in second.

Arkansas also holds claim to the nation's only active diamond mine, which today is operated mainly as a tourist attraction. The state is overly abundant in natural resources that create an annual production amount of over $1,000,000,000!

The top three minerals are petroleum, natural gas and bromine. It leads in the nation in the production of bauxite and produces about half of world-wide output of bromine. It also has deposits of coal, zinc, titanium, limestone and several other minerals.

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