The Little Rock 9

Topics: Orval Faubus, Little Rock Nine, Little Rock Central High School Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: February 29, 2008
The Little Rock Nine

In the article "Blindsided by History", Gary Smith tells the story of the 1957 Little Rock Central Tigers football team, using a not-so politically correct approach. This article investigates the racial issues surrounding the segregation and integration of Little Rock Central High School.

Until 1957 Little Rock Central High School was an all white school, it was a breeding ground for national merit scholars, future ivy-league students, and professional athletes. But when the doors opened for the first day of school in 1957, things would be a little different, Arkansas National Guardsmen and crowds gathered out front to see if nine back students, known as the little rock nine, would be allowed inside. None of the "Little Rock Nine" attended classes on the first day, but finally on the third day Elizabeth Eckfort tried to enter the school, after the 1954 supreme court ruling allowing segregation of school – Elizabeth was fully within her rights to attend, but when she reached the doors, the guards refused to let her in. The order to block her from entering the school was given by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, Fabulus defended his decision by saying he was preserving the peace, and if they began integrating the school there would be bloodshed and mass riots.

Once the school was successfully integrated, there were still not equal opportunities for all the students, the newly integrated students were allowed to attend school, but not allowed to participate in any extra-curricular activities – especially football. Eventually the racial tension became so great that President Eisenhower called in 1200 army paratroopers to calm down the situation. Later that day an assembly was called to address the situation, Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker was brought in to address the students, although at first only 2/3 of the student body attended the assembly. Although Walker was not for integration, he explained to the students that he whole-heartedly...
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