The Top 5 Stops on Little Rock's Military History Tour
Little Rock is full of monuments, memorials, and museums dedicated to those who have served our country and sacrificed for its freedom. From the Army and Air Force, the National Guard and Navy, Little Rock is a city where America’s military history will never be forgotten…nor will it fade away.
Now you can see these important places with our self-guided Military History tour. The tour highlights 14 stops in total, but here are five of its most popular sights.
Little Rock National Cemetery is the largest national cemetery in Arkansas. In 1866 it was a Union encampment for the troops who occupied the city, and, after the war, it was turned into a cemetery for fallen soldiers. It’s unknown exactly when the first burial took place at the cemetery, but the final active-duty internment was a man from Pine Bluff who was killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
This museum is housed in the historic Arsenal Building, a National Historic Landmark and one of Little Rock’s oldest surviving structures. Built in 1840 to protect a frontier state from attack by Native Americans, it witnessed pivotal exchanges between Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War, and later became the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur. Through exhibits and programming, the museum ensures that “old soldiers never die.” Instead, their sacrifice and service are preserved for future generations.
As a landlocked destination, Arkansas is an unexpected location for a maritime museum, but history has come to life on the banks of the Arkansas River in the city of North Little Rock where a decommissioned World War II United States Navy tugboat and submarine are available for tours and events. The USS Hoga was instrumental in putting fires out at Pearl Harbor, and the USS Razorback was present when the Japanese surrendered at Tokyo Bay. It is the only museum in the continental United States that houses both bookends of WW II. These vessels are among the most unique in Arkansas and offer event attendees an experience they'll never forget, including overnight stays aboard the Razorback.
he Arkansas National Guard Museum officially opened in 1999 with a mission of preserving the history of Camp Pike, a base constructed during World War I. In 1937, the name of the base was changed to Camp Joseph T. Robinson to honor a late Arkansas senator. The museum houses artifacts from the Arkansas Guard from its founding shortly after the Louisiana Purchase until today.
Arkansas Medal of Honor Memorial
The Arkansas Medal of Honor Memorial was designed by artist John Deering which consists of a bronze eagle surrounded by a circle of bronze plaques dedicated to each Medal of Honor recipient. The memorial is located on the southeast lawn of the Arkansas State Capitol. The Medal of Honor Memorial, which honors men from the Civil War through the Vietnam War, was dedicated on November 18, 2000.
You can see many of these sights along with several others on the cycling version of this tour. This tour lets you bike through downtown Little Rock as you discover generations of military history around the city.