Thursday, October 9, 2008

Little Rock, Arkansas "THE ROCK"

We're in Little Rock Arkansas for a few days, the first thing that did was visit MacArthur Park, named of course for General Douglas MacArthur. The Arkansas Military Museum is located here and is housed in Tower Building, which was built as part of the state armory before the Civil War and is the only building from that time that is still standing, it is also the building that the General was born in when it was used as an Officers Quarters.

During WWll, a James Allison worked for the Houston Press, he ended up collecting over 4600 photos that were sent back by war correspondents and that we not used by the paper, about 100 of the photos are on display here and are worth the trip alone.

Bataan Death March

German bombing of London

Versatile Jeep making a creek crossing.

French boy teaching the pilots french phrases, click on the pic to see what he's teaching them.

I put this picture of Black Jack Pershing to give you a little history on his nickname, one of his early commands was of the 10th Cavalry in Montana, the Buffalo Soldiers, because of this the cadets back at West Point referred to him as "Nigger Jack" when they were rebuffed for this it was changed to "Black Jack" and that stayed with him the rest of his life. It should be noted the General Black Jack Pershing was very instrumental in getting the black troop into combat rather then doing support operations in the rear.

Since we are Detroit Lions Fans we found this piece of history interesting.

Click to read.

There is a large display that covers everything that went on between MacArthur and Truman, they have a lot of papers that are marked TOP SECRET on display to explain what happen.

We were going to go down to the Riverfront and asked the curator where the best place to eat was, without any hesitation she said "the Clinton Library" she also advised us to tell them when we go in that we were just going to the restaurant and we would not have to pay the entrance fee.

The name of the restaurant is "Forty Two" figure it out.

We both had the Presidential Club Sandwich, the waiter told use the President Bill was the creator of this sandwich and it's what he has every time he stops by. All I can say is that you might not agree with his politics but you will love his sandwich, this was the best sandwich I can recall having. It comes with your choice of fries, fresh fruit or chads.

After lunch we went out back and took a walk along the riverfront to Market Place downtown, they have developed the downtown riverfront into a beautiful park which stretches for about a mile, equipped with trolley cars, bike/hike paths, statues, footbridges across the river and a large Farmers Market with every type restaurant you can think of.

Across the river in North Little Rock is the Submarine Razorback, this is the longest serving submarine, built for the US Navy in WWll, when the Navy retired it they sold it to the Turkey Navy who used it for another 30 or so years and the sold it to the city. It is open for tours and is currently being restored to US Navy standards.

One of the reasons we stopped here was to see another Whispering Giant, this one is on display in Riverfront Park but does not have any information about it, so everybody just looks at it and wonders.

Also found this statue of Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski, or on second thought it might be Elvis and he's alive in Little Rock, you heard it here first.

Now across the bridge to North Little Rock.

Went to the Arkansas Nation Guard Museum today which is located on base at Camp Robinson. It's funny prior to 911, to get on a military base all you did was drive through the gate and go where ever you wanted, but since then you know have to stop at the gate and show a civilian security officer, not the MP's or Air Police but a civilian security guard, your license, registration and proof of current insurance and they will issue you a pass. No checking the truck of the car or anything like that, I guess if you have current insurance you can't possibly be a terrorist.

The story behind this picture is that as these three jets were returning from a mission in Korea the pilot in the center jet had his oxygen malfunction and his plane kept rolling over and going into a dive, it would then straighten out for a bit then go into another dive. The two other pilots figured out what was happening and flew to his side, they placed their wings right under his by about 15 inches, this created a wind flow that kept his jet level and in a slight decline. They flew like this for about 30 minutes until the jets were low enough that they did not need the oxygen, the middle pilot came to got control of his jet and they all returned safely bake to base.

The museum covers the Arkansas Guard from 1804 to present and has some very nice displays and a ton of old picture which were great.

The Gatlin gun, invented by Dr Gatlin, he figured that it would end the war faster and save lifes.

The Yeater Collection

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