LITTLE ROCK PROTESTS (Illustration) American History African American History Civil Rights Government Social Studies Ethics Trials Law and Politics

Despite a directive from the U.S. Supreme Court to desegregate schools, Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, summoned his state’s National Guard to prevent African-American students from attending Central High School in Little Rock. This image, from the Library of Congress, depicts the scene on September 5, 1957. The Library’s curators provide this description: "Crowd of students, sightseers, and the press waiting outside Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas."


It was 1957, the start of another school year at Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. This academic year was different, though. It began with huge protests. White students, and their parents, did not want to integrate their school.

The governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, agreed. He did not believe in integrated schools and called in the National Guard to prevent African-American students from entering Central High.

With clubs in hand, the Guardsmen were doing the job the Governor had asked them to do. It didn't seem to matter that the Supreme Court of the United States had already ordered that schools could no longer be "separate but equal."

Ending the immediate crisis (but not the anger of Little Rock citizens), President Eisenhower nationalized the Arkansas National Guard and assigned 1,000 paratroopers to the city.

No longer in charge of the Guard, Orval Faubus had no choice - he had to allow the nine African-American children - known today as "The Little Rock Nine" - to attend Central High.

The Governor's actions were not the last regarding anti-integration, anti-busing protests.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jul 19, 2019

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"LITTLE ROCK PROTESTS" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2001. May 26, 2020.
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