Category Archives: “Looking Back”

Honoring Our Veterans: “Looking Back”

Reprinted here by special permission of the author, Cindy Beckman, a retired Conway High School history teacher who writes local history.

On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. the Germans signed an armistice, or cease-fire, agreement ending World War I. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson would proclaim November 11 as Armistice Day, a day to honor those who died in the service of their country during World War I. Congress made it a legal holiday in 1938.

After World War II, Congress changed the name of the day to Veteran’s Day so that all veterans from all wars could be honored. President Eisenhower, a decorated World War II veteran himself, set up Continue reading

Serving in World War II: “Looking Back”

Reprinted here by special permission of the author, Cindy Beckman, a retired Conway High School history teacher who writes local history.

In 2007, AETN created an oral history program called In Their Words which attempted to preserve the experiences of Arkansas’ World War II veterans. Eventually more than 500 stories were recorded and archived. I encourage you to go to www.intheirwords.org and read some of their stories.

Many other stories will remain untold but my grandmother helped me preserve a few of them in the summer of 1999. Pleasant Valley joined Continue reading

Pleasant Valley Goes to War: “Looking Back”

Reprinted here by special permission of the author, Cindy Beckman, a retired Conway High School history teacher who writes local history.

War often requires sacrifices and effort at home as well as in the battlefield. Pleasant Valley, a small Faulkner County community of about 50 or 60 families, contributed greatly to the war effort during World War II. Many of its young men had gone to serve in the military so those who were left behind worked doubly hard to do all they could for the war effort.

The community became well known for its efforts to provide agricultural products that were greatly needed by the troops. In the November 8, 1942 Arkansas Gazette Magazine section, the efforts of the community were featured in Continue reading

Uncle Tobe: “Looking Back”

Reprinted here by special permission of the author, Cindy Beckman, a retired Conway High School history teacher who writes local history.

Riley Thompson Hankins enlisted in the 10th Alabama Cavalry on August 5, 1863, at the age of fifteen. He did not participate in any major battles but was in a few minor engagements before the end of the war. Returning home, he married in 1869 but his first wife died in childbirth. He later married again.

He and his second wife, Malissa, had twelve children, Continue reading

Columbus Day: “Looking Back”

Reprinted here by special permission of the author, Cindy Beckman, a retired Conway High School history teacher who writes local history.

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two. Today is Columbus Day, a federal holiday since 1937 but commemorated as far back as 1792 when New York celebrated the 300th anniversary of his arrival in the New World.

Many people now know, thanks to the efforts of their history teachers and the History Channel, that Columbus most likely did not discover Continue reading