Dr. Ken Bridges, author of the popular History Minute column appearing in this and 41 other Arkansas newspapers, has announced the publication of his latest book, Arkansas Memories, a collection of his Arkansas History columns.
In An Arkansas Minute includes numerous stories about the state’s past, including the notorious Conway-Crittenden Duel in 1827 between two of the leading politicians of Arkansas. James Woodson Bates, the namesake of Batesville, and Sen. Ambrose Sevier, for whom Sevier County is named, are also featured. The life of famed civil rights leader Daisy Bates is included in addition to such noted scientists as kidney transplant pioneer Dr. Samuel Kountz and Dr. Margaret Pittman, a school principal turned scientist who developed vaccines for whooping cough and cholera. Arkansas Memories also features the lives of Arkansas writers and artists such as poet John Gould Fletcher and famed western star Dale Evans.
“Our history is society’s memory,” Bridges said. “And if we look at the great lives of the past, we can see what we can be in the future.”
The column began in 2013 as a public education effort with the South Arkansas Historic Preservation Society.
Bridges, a native of Lawrence County, is a professor of history and geography at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado. He has taught at SouthArk since 2003 and earned three teaching awards from the college. He maintains an active role in the community as a member of the El Dorado Rotary Club and serves on the El Dorado Historic District Commission. He also serves on the Arkansas Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Board, the Friends of the Arkansas State Archives board, and the board of directors of New Creations Life Center, an El Dorado-based homeless shelter. Bridges also co-edits the South Arkansas Historical Journal. He and his wife, Lynn, have six children.
Arkansas Memories is a follow-up to the successful 2016 book In An Arkansas Minute, his first collection of columns. Arkansas Memories is the seventh book by Bridges and is available as a paperback through Amazon.com as well as in Kindle e-book format.