The Arkansas History Commission was well represented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Historical Association, held March 27-29, at Eureka Springs. AHC Director, Dr. Wendy Richter, Russell Baker, Jane Hooker, Jeff Lewellen, Peggy Lloyd, Linda McDowell, and Paula Taylor were among the attendees at the sixty-seventh annual conference, whose theme was ‘Arkansas: Land of Eccentricity’. The chairman of the Arkansas History Commission, John P. Gill, was also in attendance.
Peggy Lloyd, Archival Manager of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, the AHC’s branch in Washington, Arkansas, was elected to the Arkansas Historical Association Board of Trustees for a three-year term. Russell Baker and Jeff Lewellen were presenters at the conference. Baker participated in Session IV—Highlighting Arkansas Archives, giving a lively account of the State Archives’ contribution to “Odd Manuscript Collections in Arkansas Archives.” Lewellen’s entertaining presentation, “The Hawk Flies Again! The Life and Strange Adventures of Ronnie Hawkins,” featured a portion of a Canadian television documentary on Hawkins. Baker and Lewellen received numerous compliments, with many observers calling their talks the best of the conference.
Curtis Sykes, former chairman of the Black History Commission of Arkansas, was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Historical Association. Mr. Sykes was an original member of the Black History Advisory Committee (now the Black History Commission of Arkansas) in 1991. He served as its chairman from 1993 until his death on September 9, 2007.
On March 29, 2008, staff members from the Arkansas History Commission participated in the Arkansas Genealogical Society’s ‘Arkansas Genealogy Road Show.’ Russell Baker, Julienne Crawford, Lynn Ewbank, April Goff, and long-time History Commission volunteer, John Tarbell, were part of the distinguished panel assembled by AGS to assist researchers. Attendees were given free consultations in areas of interest ranging from genealogical research to DNA to antiques.