Hempstead County Bicentennial Meeting

By Submitted, 09/11/18 2:37 PM

The Hempstead County Bicentennial Committee met Monday September 10th. Josh Williams gave an update on the new donation feature of the bicentennial website. Williams also showed some prototype t-shirts and the committee agreed to purchase 100 shirts to sell to the public.
Catherine Cook gave an update on finances. She noted $2,300 has been received in the last month. This includes $400 towards the time capsule and $1,900 towards the general fund. No money was spent and the current balance on hand is $7,440.
Judge Haskell Morse noted Bobo and Bain will dig the hole for the time capsule. Discussion ensued on the various other entities who will contribute to the time capsule ncluding B & R Building Supply.
Keenan Williams gave an update on medallions. He noted 25 had been ordered for those who have completed their passports. He also gave an update on the commemorative silver coins and how the die is being hardened in preparation to strike the coins.
Richard Read gave an update on the time capsule. He detailed the sponsors and noted the cost to non-profit organizations ($10 for one page, $5 for each page thereafter). The approximately 3,400 Hempstead County students will get to write a “letter to the future” for free. These images will be microfilmed. Read says he’s never heard of a community preparing a time capsule which is focused on children of the current time preparing documents that will be read by their children and grandchildren. Right now time capsule sponsors include the William Jefferson Clinton Birthday Home National Historic Site, Smith Welding, UAHT, Hope School District, Fulton Grass, Mike and Debbie Malek, Richard and Tamara Read, B & R Building Supply, and Raising Cane’s.
The committee approved a change to the minutes reflecting that centennial signs can’t be placed on state highway signs due to Arkansas DOT regulations.
Dale Gathright gave a report on an historic bell that will be coming back to Saratoga.
Josh Williams gave an update on passports and noted the Chamber of Commerce reports many people have been coming in to get passports.
Christian Davis of the Birthplace Home gave an update on the December 15th event. Judge Morse noted if President Clinton can’t attend he’ll send a video. Governor Hutchinson and Mike Huckabee have committed to attend. They also hope to have Mack McLarty attend. Judge Morse said they hope to have some vendors and food trucks. Also there are plans to have local talent out for the event. Plans are for the opening ceremonies at Hempstead Hall from 10am until 11:40am, the “best of Hempstead County” celebration downtown from 2pm to 7pm, a possible parade at 6:30, and the closing celebration at 7pm with County officials, County mayors, past County officials,and possibly the county judges from the 12 counties comprising the original area covered by Hempstead County. Plans are for the program to wrap up with a fireworks display at 7:30 that evening conducted by Don Still.
Under new business a letter was discussed to submit to teachers regarding the format for students to write their “letter to the future” for the time capsule.
Under new business Keenan Williams noted the Arts Council has a bazaar in October and George Smith has asked the committee to sell Centennial materials at the Bazaar. Also it was discussed giving the special dignitaries Hempstead County gifts. The meeting then adjourned.