In 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled in the famous Brown v Board of Education case that segregation of schools in the American South was unconstitutional. Despite this ruling, integrating the schools was not a simple act.
The conflict over segregation in schools reached its height at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Nine black students attempted to enroll in 1957, prompting a fierce backlash from the pro-segregation state government of governor Orval Faubus.
On September 4, 1957, the Arkansas National Guard were mobilized by Faubus to prevent the integration of the students. The intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower proved decisive: he ordered the National Guard be federalized, taking them out of the Governor's control, and ordered the US Army to support the integration of the school. The students were successfully integrated on September 23, 1957.
The nine students did not find it easy at Little Rock - they were regularly abused by the white students. Nevertheless integration eventually occurred in schools as a result of the Brown v Board decision.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
- 1957-09-04 Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, calls out National Guard to prevent 9 black students from entering a Little Rock's Central High School
- 1957-09-23 White mob forces 9 black students enrolled at Little Rock's Central High School in Arkansas to withdraw
- 1957-09-23 President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders US troops to support integration of nine black students at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas
- 1957-11-27 US Army withdraws from Little Rock, Arkansas after Central High School integration
- 1958-05-08 US President Eisenhower orders National Guard out of Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas
- 1958-05-27 Ernest Green becomes the 1st African-American to graduate from Little Rock's Central High School
- 1958-09-12 US Supreme Court orders the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas to integrate
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower