2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the lighting of the Arkansas State Capitol at Christmastime. The custom originated in 1938 when Secretary of State C. G. “Crip” Hall began adding holiday lights to the Capitol’s exterior.
A victim of polio as a child, Hall felt a special bond with the infirm children of the state. Given the Capitol’s proximity to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Hall decided to decorate the building and the grounds when he realized the children in the hospital could see the dome. He wanted to literally brighten their stay during the holidays.
The tradition continues to this day.
– Scott Carter, City of Little Rock