The federal census shows Fayetteville’s population to be 58,047, an increase of 38 percent from the 1990 census. Washington County’s total population was 157,715.
May — A proposed development of retail stores including a Kohl's department store throws the city government into chaos because the proposal doesn't preserve a grove of oak trees, violating the city's tree-preservation ordinance. A tree-sit protest by Mary Lightheart, other acts of civil disobedience and court actions fail to stop development from occurring, although a small portion of the grove was preserved.
August — The Morning News began publishing zoned editions of its paper, including a Fayetteville edition. In response, the Northwest Arkansas Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette announced a business partnership in which the two newspapers were packaged together, and all business functions were transferred to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
August 15 — Fayetteville residents approve a 1 percent sales tax, limited to 18 months, to pay for construction of a new public library.
February 27 — Jim Blair announces a $3 million gift to the Fayetteville Public Library and its campaign to raise money for a new library building. The new library building would be named Blair Library in honor of Blair's late wife, Diane Devers Blair, his grandmother and aunt.
April 11 — The University of Arkansas announces that the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation had donated $300 million to endow an honors college, attract new faculty and graduate students, and support the research mission of the university. The gift was the largest ever to a public university and the fifth largest to any public or private university.
May — Reconstruction of Dickson Street begins this month, paid for in part by a $1.5 million federal grant. The new design was completed in the latter part of 2003.
August 27 — The new Washington Regional Medical Center opens at North Hills Medical Park.
Thousands of residents line up at the Wal-Mart on Joyce Street to get President Clinton’s new book, My Life, and an autograph from the former president.
October 8 — Blair Library, built to house an expanded Fayetteville Public Library, opens in its doors at the southwest corner of Mountain Street and School Avenue.
Veronica Campbell, a University of Arkansas student from Jamaica, wins gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Athens. Deena Drossin Kastor, a former UA track runner, wins the bronze medal in the Olympic marathon. Chuck Hemingway, another former UA high jumper, wins the silver medal in the Olympic high jump.
June 15 — The Library Journal names the Fayetteville Public Library as the its national "Library of the Year," citing its top-flight staff, volunteer program and the newly opened Blair Library building.
June 30 — The University of Arkansas successfully concludes its Campaign for the Twenty-First Century by raising more than $1 billion for scholarships, capital projects and its endowment.
The Fayetteville Public Library checks out more than 1 million items during this year, everything from books to videos to fishing rods.
November 1 — The Northwest Arkansas Times, The Morning News, the Benton County Daily Record and the northwest edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette enter into a business partnership in which the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is packaged with the other papers for distribution in their respective local markets. The new publishing company is called Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.