Road Construction I-540
Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »
Fort Smith Becomes a National Historic Site
On September 13, 1961, Congress passed Public Law 87-217 authorizing a new National Historic Site. This Congressional resolution, signed by President Kennedy, marked the beginning of transferring operational control from a local historical organization to the National Park Service.
When JFK signed into law the bill authorizing the establishment of Fort Smith National Historic Site it provided for the maintenance of about 15 acres, 10 of which the City would donate. The law appropriated $319,000 to acquire the other five acres. Kennedy accepted the deed for the City's property on a stop in Fort Smith in October 1961.
Lady Bird Johnson presented a flag, the symbol of our country, to the park. This flag with the original box remains in the park's collection.
Did You Know?
A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.