Fort Smith Bicentennial Celebration

Wild West Wednesday’s in June!

June 23rd, Fort Smith Historic Site


June 28, Communities and Cultures in Fort Smith: Exploring Identities of the Region

Photograph: "Cherokee Advocate Newspaper" Tahlequah, Indian Territory c1896-1906.

Photograph: “Cherokee Advocate Newspaper” Tahlequah, Indian Territory c1896-1906.

In celebration of the City of Fort Smith Bicentennial, The Fort Smith Museum of History is offering a monthly speaker series addressing the communities and cultures that have influenced and shaped the region and the city as we know it today.

The June 28 program features Catherine Foreman-Gray, History and Preservation Officer for the Cherokee Nation. Catherine is a graduate of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and a former park ranger at the Fort Smith National Historic Site. She has been a speaker at numerous conferences and events where she enjoys presenting on Cherokee culture, and the outlaw and lawmen history of Cherokee Nation and Indian Territory. Catherine also serves on the board of directors for the U.S. Marshals Museum as the official representative for the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes.
Ms. Foreman-Gray will discuss significant events that have occurred between the Cherokee Nation and the Fort Smith community beginning with the Cherokee Old Settlers, who began immigrating to Arkansas in the late 1700s.

Please join us for informative and entertaining programs monthly.

The program is included with museum admission: $7 adults; $5 veterans/military; $2 children; under age 6 are free. Light refreshment are offered.

June 30, The Couple Behind the Legend

In celebration of the City of Fort Smith Bicentennial, the Fort Smith Museum of History presents, the Couple Behind the Legend. Floyd and Sue Robison will portray Judge and Mrs. Isaac C. Parker. Learn about the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas and the Parker’s roles as community leaders.

Judge Isaac and Mary Parker were instrumental in the establishment of public schools and a library in the city, and began the first fair later known as Fort Smith Public Schools, Fort Smith Public Library and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Fair.

Judge Parker was born on October 15, 1838 in Barnesville, Ohio. He studied law, passed the bar exam in 1859 and began his legal career in St. Joseph, Missouri. Parker was elected United States Congressman from Missouri for two terms, 1871-1874. Appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1875, Isaac Parker began his famous tenure as Federal Judge for the Western District of Arkansas, a post he would hold until his death in 1896.

The programs are included with museum admission: $7 adults, $5 veterans/military, $2 children, under age six are free.

June 30, Fort Smith National Historic Site


During these months, we will be focusing on “Homecoming.” We are encouraging those who have a rich family heritage in Fort Smith to plan family reunions and get-togethers. Those who were born here, raised here, or currently live elsewhere are encouraged to come back home to appreciate all Fort Smith has to offer.

JULY 14, Local Color Radio Hour: A Live Show and Podcast

(Fort Smith Museum of History) Local Color Radio Hour: A Live Show and Podcast is reminiscent of an old-time radio show. The evening includes live music with the Numbskulls, storytelling, “History Matters,” “On Display,” “Little Known Facts,” and more!

July 14 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30). Live music, history, storytelling, audience participation and fun!
$5 per person.

Local Color Radio Hour March 3, 2018 podcast available:


We love where we’ve been and where we are. It’s easy to focus on who we were, but during these months we will be focusing on where we are going. We will explore what the future holds for you and our great community.