News & Events

Remembering Governor Sidney Sanders McMath

governor sidney s. mcmath

Community organizations and the McMath family are working together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Governor Sidney Sanders McMath with activities on June 14-15 at Central Arkansas Library System venues.

These organizations were important to Governor McMath at different times in his life, and the activities reflect those connections. The celebration will begin with a Historical Perspectives conference on McMath's history and accomplishments on Thursday, June 14, from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Arkansas Studies Institute building, 401 President Clinton Ave. Individuals who knew or worked with McMath in various projects and offices will offer presentations with subjects including The Making of a Governor, Confronting Jim Crow, and Man of Faith.

A Centennial Salute and Reception will be held on Friday, June 15, at 10 a.m. at McMath Library, 2100 John Barrow Rd. Presentation of the colors will begin the program, which will include a speaker from the McMath family. A reception in the McMath Library meeting room will be followed by family activities of health and vision screenings, mobility demonstrations, Marine Corps and college information, and a children's book giveaway. Parking is limited, but additional parking is available at Parkview Arts/Sciences High School, 2501 John Barrow Road.

All activities are free and open to the public. The celebration is presented by the McMath family, the Central Arkansas Library System, Henderson State University, Lion's World Services for the Blind, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, U.S. Marine Corps, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, University of Arkansas, and Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church.

For more information contact Susan Hill Gelé at 918-3086


Session 1: The Making of a Governor (Michael Pierce, Moderator)
Time: 8:30-9:50

Ben Johnson – "Columbia County 1912"
Ben Combs – "Sid McMath, 'The Battle of Bauxite', and Other Remiscences"
Robert Jackson – "Sid McMath's Contribution to Freemasonry in Arkansas"

Time: 9:50-10:00

Session 2: Sid McMath and the American Political Tradition (Patrick Williams, Moderator)
Time: 10:10-11:30

Robert Brown – "McMath and the Dixiecrats" Ernie Dumas – "Unplugged: Sid and Ham and the Electrical War" Bill Wilson &ndah; "Sid McMath: Trial Lawyer Supreme"

Lunch (not provided)
Time: 11:30-1:30

Screenings of brief videos related to Gov. McMath's life.

Session 3: Arkansas Enters the Modern Age (David Stricklin, Moderator
Time: 1:30-2:50

Jonathan Wolfe – "Governor McMath and the Founding of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences"
C. Fred Williams – "Sid McMath and Modernity: Bridge from the Old Guard to the New Democrats"
Randy Ort – "Sid McMath – The Highway Governor"

Time: 2:50-3:00

Session 4: Confronting Jim Crow (C. Fred Williams, Moderator)
Time: 3:00-4:30

Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. – "Seeds that Were Planted"
Ada Hollingsworth – "Sid McMath: Friend of the African American Community"
Michael Pierce – "Sid McMath's Campaign to End the Poll Tax"

Time: 4:30-4:40

Session 5: Man of Faith
Time: 4:40-5:10

Britt Skarda
Skip Rutherford
Sydney Blackmon

Session 6: Concluding Remarks/Reminiscences
Time: 5:15-5:45

Phillip McMath