The Little Rock Nine, A Stand for Equality

A Legacy of Courage

The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site recognizes the courage of nine African American students, known as the Little Rock Nine. 1957, following the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, these teenagers withstood resistance to desegregate Little Rock Central High School.
Before Brown v. Board, education was primarily a state responsibility. However, the 1954 ruling declared segregated schools violated the 14th Amendment, which states that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Southern states, including Arkansas, opposed this as federal overreach and clung to segregated systems.

A Turning Point

When the Little Rock Nine attempted to enter the school for the first time, violence exploded. Unable to guarantee their safety, local police forced the students to withdraw. President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded and deployed the 101st Airborne Division to defend the Supreme Court’s ruling. On September 25th, the National Guard escorted the Little Rock Nine into Central High through the mob of protesting segregationists.

Despite the desperate attempts to maintain segregation, the actions of the Little Rock Nine and President Eisenhower marked a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Friday, May 10, 2024


0.96 miles

Moving Time

0:19:18 hours


77 °F, sunny, gentle breeze