Ceremony to commemorate 1963 Greers Ferry Dam dedication


LITTLE ROCK — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday announced an Oct. 3 ceremony to observe the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Greers Ferry Dam.

Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to deliver remarks during the ceremony, to be held at John F. Kennedy Outlook outside Heber Springs.

Greers Ferry Dam was constructed on the Little Red River between 1959 and 1962. The dam’s primary function is flood control, but the facility also serves as a hydroelectric power plant. Greers Ferry Lake, created as a result of the dam, is a popular recreational destination and a major contributor to Arkansas’ tourism industry.

President Kennedy dedicated the dam on Oct. 3, 1963, in what would be one of his last major public appearances before his assassination less than a month later in Dallas.

Greers Ferry Dam measures 1,704 feet in length and stands 243 feet above the stream bed of the Little Red River. It cost $46.5 million and created a reservoir of between 30,000 and 40,000 acres, depending on water level, and over 340 miles of shoreline in Cleburne and Van Buren counties, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.