This collection contains papers relating to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention of 1969-1970, as compiled by William Fadjo Cravens, Jr., a convention delegate. The papers include correspondence and memoranda, committee papers, schedules and reports, background materials on the convention movement and constitutional issues, and material from Arkansans for the Constitution of 1970, a group which campaigned for passage of the new constitution.
Fadjo Cravens, a convention delegate from District 12 (Crawford and Sebastian counties), was the son of William Fadjo Cravens, Sr., and the grandson of William Ben Cravens. Born 1929 January 28, Cravens was a lifelong resident of Fort Smith and was the vice-president and marketing director of Merchants National Bank of Fort Smith.
The call for a revision of Arkansas's 1874 constitution and gained momentum throughout the 1960s. Through Act 121 of 1967, the General Assembly established an Arkansas Constitutional Revision Study Commission to offer recommendations on constitutional revision. The Commission's report recommended that the question of whether or not to call a convention be decided by popular vote in the 1968 general election. Act 3 of 1968 placed the issue on the ballot; voters also selected delegates to the convention.
The call for a constitutional convention narrowly passed in the general election, and the General Assembly created a three-member Constitutional Convention Advisory Commission to initiate the convention.The convention held an organizational meeting in 1969 January, and then adjourned until May, when it began work on a new constitution. A tentative draft was approved on 1969 August 21, and copies were distributed for public comment. The convention reconvened in 1970 January for a final 30-day session. Alterations were made, and the final document was formally adopted by the convention on 1970 February 10. The new constitution was placed on the ballot for the 1970 general election but was decisively defeated. Many of the convention's revisions were later adopted by the General Assembly through amendments to the 1874 constitution.
Arkansas. Constitutional Convention (1969-1970)
Arkansas--Politics and government
Cravens, William Fadjo, Jr., 1929-2012, collector
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This collection is available for viewing at the Arkansas Studies Institute.
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Arkansas Constituional Convention Records, 1969-1970. UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock.