The Little Rock Nine
Fifty-one years ago on this day in people’s history, members of the 101st US-Airborne Division were called in to escort black students into Little Rock Central High School. On September 24th, 1957, the “Little Rock Nine” went to class on the intervention of President Eisenhower. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had previously deployed his state’s national guard to prevent the black students from entering the high school. Failing to comply with the landmark Brown vs the Board Education Supreme Court decision, the attempt to desegregate Little Rock Central High School became a spotlight in the ever emerging civil rights movement. The first year of integration was trying for the Little Rock Nine as they faced harassment and assault from racist white students. A year later, and with state government support, the Little Rock School Board canceled the academic year for its three high schools rather than integrate them.
As a result, some white parents enrolled their sons and daughters into private schools were they would be assured that everything would be all white!