National Park, Arkansas is just an hour from the Capital City
of Little Rock, but it’s light years away. Native American Indians
were here first, but by the 1830s, western migration had brought
settlers and attendant out of control development of healing hot
The Federal Government, cognizant of the propensity for
despoliation, sought to preserve the area’s unique natural allures
through an act of congress in 1832 with a formal designation as the
Hot Springs Reservation recreation area.
By the 1880s professional baseball leagues from around America
started coming to Hot Springs, creating the country’s first Spring
Training destination, long before the popularity of Florida and
Arizona training camps. Spring baseball training continued on
Hot Springs right up through the mid-1940s. Hot Springs was
designated a National Park in 192.
But that didn’t stop mobsters such as Al Capone and bank
robbers such as Bonnie & Clyde, and the Barker Gang from coming
to town to savor the thermal healing spa resorts, and the gambling
joints and the brothels just across the street from the National
Park’s border. Hot Springs is also Bill Clinton’s hometown,
and he frequently returns for visits. Join Correspondent, Tom
Wilmer at Hot Springs National Park for a conversation with,
Park Ranger, Miguel Marquez.