Texarkana has made a few national headlines
We all know, and some love, Texarkana, but few of us know what outsiders think of our small divided town. There are some stories that are broadcasted about Texarkana that our generation has contributed to: Free Byrd and Summer Twitter Fights to name a few. And now here’s a little history of how Texarkana made its name in the national eye.
The Day that it Rained Pigeons: In 2006 Capital One Bank of downtown Texarkana in attempt to rid mobs of pigeons, poisoned dozens of birds. Earlier in the week a pigeon entered the bank and left a little present on a customer’s head. The bank immediately hired an exterminator to get rid of the birds. Poisoned corn was placed around the property. The corn was only supposed to sicken the birds into leaving, sadly the corn was more lethal than expected. During the Quadrangle Festival that weekend, dozens of birds fell from the sky. The fiasco was described by Fire Chief Robert Farstad “[the birds] coming down like dive bombers.” This awful act was covered by USA Today and many more news stations. Read the story.
The Rabies Spread of Texarkana: A 20-year-old Texarkana, Ark., resident died in May 2004 of what doctors thought to be a brain hemorrhage; he was an organ donor. In July, four people died from rabies. What all the deaths had in common was that they all were given organs transplants from the same man, the man who reportedly died of a brain hemorrhage. When investigated the Center of Disease Control and Prevention were disturbed to find out that the 20-year-old man lived in an apartment which harbored rabies infected bats. The brain hemorrhage had the same symptoms as rabies symptoms. This spread of rabies was covered by New York Times and USA Today. Read the story.
Rat Capital of the Nation: In 1969 T.S. Eliot wrote a story for Time Magazine, titling his piece “The Waste Land.” Eliot did studies on rats per square mile and such. The investigation lead to the disturbing conclusion that 17 out of the 27 miles of the town, including higher income areas, were infested with rats. According to US Interior Department Investigators, Texarkana harbored 900,000 rats, 30 times the national rate.
So here’s to you Texarkana, for being the funky, notorious place we call home. We may hate you sometimes for your lack of fun or positive publicity but you have made us who we are.