On This Day (Sept 25th), in 1957, President Eisenhower used the U.S. Army to escort the Little Rock Nine into Little Rock Central High School. If you aren’t familiar with the Little Rock Nine, here are a few blog post from other bloggers worth checking out. (The Red Kimono, In Honor of The Little Rock Nine; Up@dawn, Little Rock Nine.)
Long story short, with the issuing of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education, the Little Rock School District was forced to integrate the schools. The entire month of September, 1957, was filled with arguments between politicians, protests by segregationist, and fear for the nine children that the NAACP had enrolled in the entirely white, Little Rock Central High School.
After finally getting the students in the school, past the Arkansas National Guard blockade (earlier they had physically blocked the students at the governors request), they only lasted half a day before they were taken out. The school was fearful of the mobs and forced the black students out a side door. President Eisenhower, having already met with Governor Orval Faubus and told him not to defy the Supreme Court’s ruling, took federal control of the 10,000 member Arkansas National Guard and ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to escort the children into school. On September 25, 1957, the nine black children were escorted into the school. This act would be one of the most significant events in the National Civil Rights Movement. There is a great short video below that portrays the events leading up to this day, take the two minutes to check it out.