TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS COME – GREETINGS:
WHEREAS: Colonel Willis Miles Ponder founded Walnut Ridge in 1875 and served as its first mayor. The town was originally named Pawpaw after the number of pawpaw trees in the area, but changed its name to Walnut Ridge when town leaders applied for a post office and learned another Arkansas town already had that name;
WHEREAS: Walnut Ridge was chosen as the site for an Army Air Forces Flying School during World War II. Its first class of cadets arrived in 1942 and more than 4,500 students graduated from the school;
WHEREAS: The Beatles arrived in the city in 1964, intending to have a surreptitious vacation in America’s Rock ‘N’ Roll heartland. When their schedule leaked, most town residents came out to see the group arrive;
WHEREAS: Walnut Ridge has grown into one of Arkansas’ musical capitals, hosting the Beatles at the Ridge Music Festival since 2012 and unveiling the Guitar Walk in downtown. The town sits along Rock ‘N’ Roll Highway 67, bringing many tourists to the area;
WHEREAS: Governor Sanders’ “Capital for a Day” program highlights great cities around Arkansas like Walnut Ridge and brings senior state government officials into town to meet with their local counterparts and to ensure that adequate services are provided to all Arkansans; and
WHEREAS: Walnut Ridge will serve as the fourth “Capital for a Day” under Governor Sanders and will momentarily serve as Arkansas’ seat of government.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, Governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the State of Arkansas, do hereby name Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, our Capital for a Day on November 16th, 2023, and invite our senior state government officials to join me in a visit to the city.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 14th day of November, in the year of our Lord 2023.