AASLH/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting in Little Rock, AR

One of the best ways to learn about what is going on in the field and network with new colleagues is to take a tour during the AASLH/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting on September 22-25. There are many options to choose a tour that best fits your needs. The connections you make and the inspiration from the tour sites will enrich your experience at the 2021 meeting.

Full day tours on Wednesday and Saturday of the conference offer great opportunities to get a bit out of the Little Rock area and learn more about what Arkansas’s rich history.

Doing Justice to the Delta is a full day tour that highlight the rich history of Pine Bluff, gateway to the Arkansas Delta. The tour will visit sites connected to development of the region, the experiences of the courageous men and women who lived and worked in the Delta Lowlands, and various forms of cultural expression including several musical genres.

The Intersections of Injustice tour highlights injustices that intersect with Arkansas history—the Trail of Tears, Japanese American internment, and school desegregation. Stops include the Clinton Presidential Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.

Hot Springs – Travel to Hot Springs National Park, the oldest park maintained by the National Park Service. Spend time at the visitor center and learn about the park, historic bathhouses, and the city. Lunch will be at a downtown restaurant. Then travel to the former Major League Baseball spring training site for a walking tour. Lastly enjoy the beauty of nature at Garvan Woodland Gardens, the University of Arkansas’s botanical gardens.

Toltec Archaeological State Park and Plantation Agricultural State Park – Visit Toltec Archaeological State Park, a prehistoric mound site, to learn about the thriving culture that lived there and Plantation Agriculture Museum State Park to learn about cotton agriculture in Arkansas from statehood until after World War II. Both sites will be offering tours and hands-on experiences including spear throwing, American Indian games, and corn shelling and grinding.

Do you like to go behind-the scenes? There are two opportunities during the conference to tour research centers and storage areas to see how these groups preserve their treasures.

Getting to Know the Sequoyah National Research Center – The collections of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Sequoyah National Research Center constitute the largest assemblage of Native American expression in the world. They acquire and preserve the writings and ideas of Native North Americans, which is accomplished through collecting the written word and art of Native Americans and creating a research atmosphere that invites Indigenous peoples to make the Center an archival home.

Behind the Scenes: Division of Arkansas Heritage Collections Management Facility – Join the collections staff of three of the Little Rock Division of Arkansas Heritage museums as they tour you through their respective areas in the Collections Management Facility and share how they do justice to history in their collecting processes. Limited to 20 people.

You can also explore Little Rock on foot. The host committee has put together a few walking tours that will help you situate the hotel and convention center into the history of Little Rock.

Sunrise Suffrage Stroll – This morning walk will start at the host hotel and follow the Arkansas River Trail clockwise. Along the way, participants will learn about significant people and places associated with the women’s suffrage movement in Arkansas. The walk will end at the 19th Amendment Plaza with photos in front of the “Every Word We Utter” sculpture by Jane DeDecker. Limited to 30 people.

Argenta Walking Tour – This walking ghost tour is rich with North Little Rock history. Argenta is only one of six former names for North Little Rock. Guides will tell you stories of its founding, rebirth, and revitalization. You will learn the history of the original buildings on Main Street and their inhabitants. They are both interesting and entertaining. We cannot guarantee you will see a ghost; however, you will learn why we think Argenta is both rich in history and haunted. Limited to 25 people.

Rolling on the River: Two Bridges and Two Miles – This morning walk will start at the host hotel. The walk will follow the Arkansas River Trail counterclockwise across the Main Street Bridge, then south across the Clinton Presidential Center Park Bridge, and west to return to the host hotel. Along the way, participants will learn about the role of the Arkansas River in the founding and growth of Little Rock. The walk will include a photo opportunity at the Clinton Presidential Library and the “Little Rock” for which the city is named. Limited to 30 people.

All tours require preregistration and some are an additional fee. For a full list of tours, times, and prices, download the AASLH/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting Preliminary Program Guide.