LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- To get more out of life, it's good to know what went into it!
Did you know that Bernard De La Harpe, the man LaHarpe Boulevard is named for, was a shameless self-promoter? Okay, I'm overstating it a bit. But, in his journal--which is still intact--he claims to have discovered "the" Little Rock.
The trouble is that French explorers had been around approximately 60 years prior to Bernie (Bernard), so in 1722, when Bernie floated up the river past our present day city, chances are pretty good that other Europeans had already seen it.
He also called the big rock--the one jutting out over the north side of the river next to Burns Park--"French Rock." In his journal, Bernie referred to Arkansas throughout the book. He does get credit for sticking with that name, because we had been called several names until then with lots of spellings and pronunciations. "Ar-KANSAS," anyone?
Ar-Kansas vs. Arkansas. The debate went on throughout the 18th century and into the 19th century until 1881 when the Arkansas legislature ruled that the last syllable of our state name should be pronounced "SAW" even though it is spelled "SAS."