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 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.
Stories that capture the moments before, during and after the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.
Learn more about the people integral in Central High School's desegregation and this key moment in the civil rights movement.
Last updated: August 18, 2021