PHOTOS: Johnny Cash Day Honored in Arkansas with Pristine New Historic Marker

by Jon D. B.

The gorgeous shots, courtesy of the Cash Estate, highlight the state’s new historical marker alongside a joyous glimpse from the first Johnny Cash Day on March 20, 1976.

Did you celebrate Johnny Cash day Saturday along with fellow Man in Black fans? Ever since 1976, Arkansas natives have been observing March 20th in celebration of the icon’s life, legend, and work.

“On March 20, 1976, Johnny Cash Day in Arkansas was declared by proclamation issued by then Governor David Pryor,” his estate’s official twitter account reads Monday. Within, two new photos of the pristine historical marker accompany a fantastic shot of the original day’s festivities.

“Johnny was greeted by thousands of people to celebrate in Kingsland, AK,” the tweet states of the joyous photograph.

Now, the legacy of country’s most potent legend feels even more concrete. The marker features in-depth details of the day and it’s significance. As of this year, it stands permanently in Arkansas’ Cleveland County via state organization Arkansas Heritage. To the front, the marker reads:

“On March 20, 1976, Johnny Cash Day in Arkansas was declared by proclamation issued by then Governor David Pryor. The festivities started in Kingsland where Johnny and his family boarded a special train, the SL & SW Cotton Belt, and rode to Rison. When the train arrived, Johnny was greeted by a large crowd. He spoke briefly and was presented the key to the city. After his speech, he served as grand marshal to the parade that traveled along Rison street to the Rison School. Some accounts estimate the total crowd for the day’s events in the county to be over 20,000, with 10,000 attending the Johnny Cash concert held on the school’s football field.”

Johnny Cash Day Historical Marker, front side

Johnny Cash Day Marker Memorializes One Incredible Day

The historical marker offers many more details on the incredible first day in his honor. It cites the enormous Johnny Cash concert on a special stage built for the performance. Moreover, Johnny’s wife, June Carter Cash, was also present alongside the Carter Sisters as part of the show.

“He opened with “Ring of Fire” and “Ragged Old Flag,” followed by many Cash standards and train songs including “Ridin’ on the Cotton Belt,” it continues, before detailing that “Johnny donated all proceeds to the Cleveland County Historical Society for the preservation of the Pioneer Village in Rison.”

In addition, Cash would donate his special concert suit to the county. For many years, it stood in the County Courthouse, the marker concludes.

The Cash estate credits the Cleveland County Herald and Arkansas Online for the photos. It’s hard to imagine any music icon more deserving of the honor. Well, except Dolly Parton, of course. But don’t worry, the Country Queen has her own day on August 5 of every year. Time to add these two dates to your calendar if you haven’t already!

How will you celebrate the next March 20th in honor of the Man in Black?