MacArthur Park is the oldest park in the Little Rock city system. The park is home to the Arkansas Arts Center and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. MacArthur Park is operated by the Little Rock Department of Parks and Recreation. The park is located inside the boundaries of the MacArthur Park Historic District.
Park Recreational Facilities
Since 2002 the tennis court has been converted in the winter for use as a street hockey court. The court is maintained by the Little Rock Street Hockey League.
History of MacArthur Park
MacArthur Park occupies the former site of the Little Rock Arsenal. The Arsenal had for some time been a site of recreation. The first organized local baseball game was played on the grounds of the Arsenal on May 6, 1867, a match between Pulaski and the Galaxy. Pulaski won the game 67-15. The losing pitcher was Albert Pike.
The federal government closed the Arsenal in 1890, and on April 23, 1892, the U.S. Congress made the site a City of Little Rock park in perpetuity. In return the federal government received 1,000 acres of land in North Little Rock on Big Rock Mountain where it established Fort Logan H. Roots.
The park, originally simply called City Park, was renamed in 1942 after General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was born at the Arsenal in 1880. MacArthur personally visited the park in 1952, surrounded by 10,000 onlookers paying tribute to the World War II hero.
- Nate Hinkel, "Natural Game Evolves in Natural State," Arkansas Business, May 29, 2006.