WHEREAS: James C. Mars, born in 1876, was a pioneering aviator, who flew several
                       historic short flights, beginning in Fort Smith, Arkansas, at the turn of the
                       20th Century; and

WHEREAS: On May 17, 1910, a Curtiss biplane belonging to Mars arrived at the train
                       depot in Fort Smith in three boxes and was transported to Electric Park
                       (present-day Kay Rodgers Park), where crowds gathered to observe the
                       mechanics as they assembled the Skylark, as Mars named his plane; and

WHEREAS: Once the plane was assembled, pilot James "Bud" Mars spun the propeller
                       to jumpstart the motor, while four men held the plane down to keep it
                       from breaking away; and

WHEREAS : Aviator Mars executed the first recorded manned flight in the State on
                       May 21, 1910, at League Field in Fort Smith, and many residents came to
                       observe history being made as he executed two flights at an altitude of
                       seventy-five feet in a one-half-mile circuit; and

WHEREAS: As a first lieutenant in the aviation section of the Signal Corps in World
                       War I, Mars trained soldiers to fly and later built an airport in West
                       Chester, New York; and;

WHEREAS: On May 21,2010, Arkansas proudly celebrates the centennial of the Fort
                       Smith Museum of History, and its latest exhibit, The Fort in Flight: Bud
                       Mars and the City's Aviation History, which opens in the Boyd Gallery,
                       on the lOOth anniversary of the first airplane flight in Arkansas;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MIKE BEEBE, Governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of
                       the authority vested in me by the laws of the State of Arkansas, do hereby
                       proclaim May 21,2010, as


                       across the State, and I urge my fellow citizens to recognize the important
                       contributions to aviation in the Natural State and the Nation made by Bud
                       IN TESTIMONY 'WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
                       Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 19th day of April in the
                       year of our Lord 2010.
James C. Mars

BackNext Home