The home to former President Clinton, and also the site of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park, Arkansas became the 25th state of the Union in 1836.

The area was previously the home to the Paleo-Indian cultures including the advanced Mississippian civilization. While the actual name of this tribe, including what they called themselves is lost to the ages, Arkansas is the site of several of the mounts that they build as part of their impressive pre-Colombian cities.

The first Europeans to arrive in what is today modern Arkansas were Spanish explorers in the 16 th century under the leadership of Henarndo de Soto. The name Arkansas is derived from the French word for “down the river,” which might have been in reference to the Quapaw people who lived along the river. The area was home to what was known as the “Five Civilized Tribes” including the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee and Seminole. These tribes adopted Western practices including religion and farming.

The land was part of New France until the end of the French and Indian Wars, and then transferred briefly to Spain before being ceded again to France. In 1803 it was part of the Louisiana Purchase and became known as the Arkansaw territory, until June 15, 1836 when it became the 25th state of the United States.