Butler Center for Arkansas Studies 100 Rock Street Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201 (501) 320-5700
October 1, 2009
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Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Arkansas Constitutional Convention collection
2.5 Linear feet
This collection consists of selected materials relating to the Arkansas Constitutional Conventions of 1969-70 and 1979-80.
This collection is arranged chronologically by the two Conventions and topically by the type of document.
Scope and Contents
For the 1969-70 Convention, this collection consists primarily of photocopies of procedural and ceremonial resolutions, committee proposals, delegate proposals, reports of the Style and Drafting Committee, reports of the Schedule and Transitional Provisions Committee, and the initial draft of the proposed constitution. The documents are arranged in numerical order, with some numbers missing. In each case, amendments related to the various proposals, reports and drafts are filed with the appropriate document. One folder contains selected overview documents.
For the 1979-80 Convention, this collection also consists primarily of photocopies of procedural and ceremonial resolutions, committee proposals, delegate proposals, reports of the Style and Drafting Committee. The documents are arranged in numerical order, with some numbers missing. In each case, amendments related to the various proposals, reports and drafts are filed with the appropriate document. Also included are selected overview documents and photographs.
The current Arkansas Constitution was adopted in 1874 and was styled to reverse the effects of the Reconstruction era constitution. The first effort to replace this constitution occurred in 1918, but was defeated. The next constitutional convention, the so-called "Young Turks" convention, was held in 1969-1970, as the culmination of an effort that began as early as 1961. The Young Turks were a group of legislators, including especially David Pryor, Jim Brandon, and Virgil Butler, who strongly supported reform legislation.
The efforts to update the constitution received widespread support from community and business leaders, as well as from politicians, including especially Governor Winthrop Rockefeller. University of Arkansas Distinguished Professor of Law Robert A. Leflar was president of the Constitutional Convention. Despite careful and thorough preparations and a well-financed campaign, this constitution was defeated in the general election of 1970.
After being elected governor in 1974, David Pryor again led a move to revise or replace the 1874 constitution, eventually resulting in the 1979-80 Constitutional Convention. Again Professor Leflar was elected president of the convention, which completed work on June 30, 1980. The proposed constitution was put to a vote of the people in the general election, Novembe4 4, 1980. Once again the proposed constitution, despite strong support from state leaders, was defeated.
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Arkansas. Constitutional Convention (1969-1970)
Arkansas. Constitutional Convention (1979-1980)
Constitutions -- Arkansas.
Leflar, Robert Allen, 1901-1997
Pryor, David H., 1934-
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Non-circulating, in-house use only.
Arkansas Constitutional Convention collection, MSS.98.11, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute