Eisenhower Orders Federal Troops to Little Rock

Gov[ernor] Emmett D. Boyle of Nevada signing resolution for ratification of Nineteenth Amendment to Constitution of U.S. - Mrs. Sadie D. Hurst who presented the resolution, Speaker of the Assembly D.J. Fitzgerald and group of Suffrage Women, Feb. 7, 1920, Carson City, Nevada

On September 24, 1957 President Eisenhower ordered Federal Troops to Little Rock Arkansas to enforce a Supreme Court decision to integrate the schools. The army troops escorted nine African American students into school.

Following the Supreme Court decision of 1954 of Brown vs. the Board of Education, the Federal Court of Appeals approved, in 1957, an integration plan prepared by the Little Rock school board. The school board announced that integration would begin in September at Central High School.

On September 2nd, Arkansas Governor Orval Fabus sent the National Guard to surround the school to keep out the black students. The school board turned to a local federal judge, claiming that the local guard troops prevented their compliance with the federal desegregation plan. The federal government then petitioned the courts to have the governor desist. The court so ordered, and the governor withdrew the troops.

On September 23rd, the first black students arrived but were barred from the school by an angry mob. The next day, President Eisenhower ordered federal troops to Little Rock to ensure the integration of Central High School. The school was integrated, but for the next year, the City closed all the schools in Little Rock. For one year no student was educated in the cities schools. For one year known as the lost year, no students in Little Rock were educated in Public Schools. After a year the desegregated schools reopened.