A huge fire destroyed today more than 150 barraks on the grounds of Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith Arkansas. Millions of young Americans have served their first days in the army in this camp. The Fort is abandoned for several years now and can be freely visited. It's a shame that 150 barraks are destroyed, but that makes that there are still more than 500 left. The camp is so huge that as far as the eye reaches, you'll see the barraks where the privates slept. Al of the furniture is gone, but the showers, toilettes, closets, ... where still in the buildings. There was no trace of grafity or demolition on the grounds, but 1 guy who lit the fire destroyed a huge part in one day.
Fort Chaffee probably owed its greatest claim to fame to one man and one haircut. Elvis Presley spent three days at Fort Chaffee in March 1958 after he was inducted into the Army. It was there he received that famous haircut. Fred Kinslow of Greenwood was 24 and a barber at Fort Chaffee at the time. He was standing near the singer when the locks came off, but he was left out of the pictures circulated worldwide of Presley getting trimmed. He said the owner of the barbershop franchise at Chaffee, H. L. Sallee, told him he would be the one to cut Presley’s hair. But at the last minute, James “Pete” Peterson, supervisor of the barbers, decided he would do the cutting. Kinslow remembered it was so crowded in the shop with reporters and photographers it was difficult to move around. Presley was mobbed wherever he went on the installation. “I don’t know whether he got any sleep with all the cameras on him all the time,” Kinslow said. After three days at Fort Chaffee, Presley was sent to Texas to complete his basic training.
The footage that was shot in building 803 is world famous, that building was not part of the fire.