An inaugural gown worn by former first lady of Arkansas Janet Huckabee, a former Texarkana resident, will be included in the grand reopening of the exhibit, “First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of Their Times,” at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock.
According to a press release, the opening will be Sept. 14, 5-8PM., admission is free. The exhibit is a permanent installation at the museum. Janet McCain was born in Lake Charles, La., in 1955 and moved to Hope at an early age. It was there she married Mike Huckabee in 1974. Prior to becoming First Lady of Arkansas in 1996, she worked for Texarkana Public Schools and the St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana.
Janet was active in Mike’s gubernatorial campaigns. While First Lady, Janet served on many boards, including the American Red Cross, the Arkansas Hospice Foundation, the Baptist Health Foundation, Arkansas State Baptist Convention Executive Board and Friends of the Zoo.She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and was involved in the veterans Honor Flight Network.
“First Ladies of Arkansas: Women of their Times” explores the lives and accomplishments of governor’s wives throughout Arkansas’s history and contains the largest exhibition of first ladies’ gowns outside the Smithsonian.
The gowns on exhibit include some of the dresses that recently went through a significant conservation process. The museum received an Outstanding Conservation Work Award from the Arkansas Museum Association in 2017 for efforts in conserving and preserving these gowns.The newly-renovated exhibit also includes video interviews with many of Arkansas’s first ladies detailing their accomplishments and efforts during their time as First Lady of Arkansas.Gowns in the exhibit include those worn by Susan Hutchinson, Ginger Beebe, Barbara Pryor, Hillary Clinton, Mabel Martineau, Elizabeth Little, Ewilda Robinson, Anne McMath, Betty Tucker, Gay White, Jeannette Rockefeller, Alta Faubus, Anne Brough, Betty Bumpers, Janet Huckabee, Margaret Cherry and Eula Terral.
The Old State House Museum is located at 300 W. Markham in Little Rock. Admission is free and open to the public; the museum can validate parking at the DoubleTree hotel. Metered marking near the museum is free on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, call (501) 324-9685 or visit www.oldstatehouse.com.