The settlement was a well-known river crossing when Arkansas Territory was established in 1819. It became territorial capital in 1821 and state capital when Arkansas entered the Union in 1836. In the Civil War the battle of Little Rock (1863) was fought there. The city became a center of world attention in 1957, when federal troops were sent there to enforce a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against segregation in the public schools.
Little Rock is the seat of Philander Smith College, Arkansas Baptist College, the Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock, and several other branches of the university, including the law and medical schools. Of interest are the beautiful Old State House, which served as capitol from 1836 to 1910 and is now a museum; several other museums, including the Arkansas Arts Center; and the Clinton presidential library. The present capitol building was built in 1911. The city also contains several state institutions and has a noteworthy symphony orchestra. Little Rock Air Force Base is in nearby Jacksonville.
North Little Rock is a city in the central part of the U.S. state of Arkansas across the Arkansas River from Little Rock in Pulaski County. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 58,833 ranking it as the sixth most populous city in the state. North Little Rock, along with Little Rock and Conway, anchors the six-county Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area. (2007 population — 666,401), which is further included in the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area (2007 population — 841,326). According to the 2007 Census North Little Rock has a population of 59,400
The city's downtown is home to the Arkansas Twisters of the af2 arena football league and the Arkansas RimRockers of the NBA D-League (both of which play at Alltel Arena). Near the arena is Dickey-Stephens Park, the new home of the Arkansas Travelers minor league baseball team. Burns Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, is located in western North Little Rock.
Actor and director Joey Lauren Adams was born and raised in North Little Rock. She graduated from North Little Rock High School before moving to California to attend college and pursue her acting career. Adams starred in Chasing Amy, and appeared in Dazed and Confused, Big Daddy and Beautiful. She wrote and directed Come Early Morning, a 2006 film starring Ashley Judd and filmed on location in Little Rock.
North Little Rock was once known as Argenta, a name currently applied specifically to downtown North Little Rock. In 1890, Little Rock annexed the unincorporated Argenta community as its Eighth Ward, preempting a competing petition to incorporate Argenta. A neighboring area was incorporated as the Town of North Little Rock in 1901 as part of a plan to reclaim the Eighth Ward from Little Rock. By 1904, the Arkansas Supreme Court allowed the town to annex the Eighth Ward; the modern City of North Little Rock considers this its founding date. The combined city adopted the Argenta name by 1906, but reverted to North Little Rock in October 1917. A remnant of the city's earliest years can be found in North Little Rock City Hall (constructed in 1914), which still contains plaques referring to "Argenta", and contains "C of A" (City of Argenta) ornamental designs.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 47.0 square miles (121.6 km²), of which, 44.8 square miles (116.1 km²) of it is land and 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²) of it (4.58%) is water.
There were 25,542 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,578, and the median income for a family was $43,595. Males had a median income of $31,420 versus $24,987 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,662. About 12.4% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.
In addition, the Pulaski County Special School District administers several other North Little Rock area schools, including:
In North Little Rock there are a number of private schools: