Hot Springs, Arkansas, has been a resort town since its establishment. The naturally thermal spring waters found here were believed to have healing properties, which is why presidents, athletes, outlaws, and other notable figures visited The Spa City. Some interesting moments in early Hot Springs history include:
Leo McLaughlin was elected mayor of Hot Springs in 1926, and fulfilled a campaign promise to allow gambling. Illegal gambling had long been a staple of life in Hot Springs, but McLaughlin took it to a new level using voter fraud and other unlawful tactics to drive his political machine. During his 22-year reign, Hot Springs became a haven for notorious criminals and mobsters, including Owen “Owney” Madden, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and Al Capone.
These are some of the storylines in Hot Springs history. Today, its heritage is preserved in many places around town. Here are a few must-see sites for history buffs: