Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) recently recognized Hot Springs National Park in the Congressional Record as part of his initiative to highlight Arkansas’s National Parks and Historic Sites in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. You can find the full text of Senator Cotton’s recognition in the Congressional Record below, or here.
In honor of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday year, I want to recognize Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Hot Springs is a world famous tourist destination and it’s not hard to see why. Whether it’s to take advantage of the many recreational activities like hiking or boating or to bathe in the hot, therapeutic waters found in the area – guests have travelled from across the country and around the world to visit Hot Springs. In an effort to preserve its unique hot springs, Hot Springs first became a protected area in 1832 when Congress declared the area a reservation. It was officially designated as a national park in 1921.
In the years after it became a reservation, Hot Springs experienced extensive economic growth and majestic bathhouses replaced the rudimentary wooden structures surrounding the hot water springs. The remaining Bathhouse Row structures in Hot Springs National Park are now part of a National Historic Landmark District that sees thousands of visitors each year.
But Hot Springs has more than just unique natural features. Over the last century they’ve hosted Major League Baseball spring training. They are also home to Oaklawn horse racing and the notorious gangster Al Capone is even rumored to have spent time in town. Finally, former President Bill Clinton graduated from Hot Springs High School.
Hot Springs National Park is a true Arkansas treasure and the surrounding town makes it that much better. This park has a storied history, but it’s best days are ahead of it. The hot springs are still flowing, the bathhouses are still open, and the scenery remains breathtaking. In honor of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday year- I encourage you to go out and find your park!