Restricted Access to Central High School
All visitors should park and begin their visit at the National Park Service Visitor Center at 2120 West Daisy Gatson Bates Drive. Do NOT park in front of Central High School or at the Magnolia Gas Station. All school tours require advance reservations.
History & Culture
In the fall of 1957 Little Rock became the symbol of state resistance to school desegregation. Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus directly questioned the sanctity of the federal court system and the authority of the United States Supreme Court's desegregation ruling while nine African-American high school students sought an education at the all-white Little Rock Central High School.
The controversy in Little Rock was the first fundamental test of the United States resolve to enforce African-American civil rights in the face of massive southern defiance during the period following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decisions. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower was compelled by white mob violence to use federal troops to ensure the rights of African-American children to attend the previously all-white school, he became the first president since the post-Civil War Reconstruction period to use federal troops in support of African-American civil rights.
Did You Know?
Central High School NHS's former visitor center was located in a restored service station across the street from the high school. The building is under renovation to become an education center. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site