BROADCAST DATE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2007
10 AM AND 1 PM EST
The first day of school is always filled with great anticipation. You're enrolled in what some architects have called the most beautiful high school in America. As you make your way toward Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, you become aware of an angry mob that has gathered across the street from the high school. In fact, the governor has called out the National Guard to maintain order, but every time you attempt to enter the school the guardsmen block your way. This is the scene that greeted "the Little Rock Nine," as they were called by the media, in September 1957.
Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was the first important test for the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of May 17, 1954. The Little Rock controversy was the first test of the national resolve to enforce equality in public school education in the face of massive Southern defiance during the period following the Brown decision.
Many individuals and organizations in and around the city took up the cause for civil rights, such as Mrs. Daisy Bates, who helped the students gain access to the high school. On May 27, 1958, Ernest Green (one of the "Little Rock nine") became the first African-American to graduate from Central High School.
Central High School National Historic Site commemorates the events that surrounded the crisis of 1957. It has been 50 years since the desegregation of Central High School. Join the rangers and other special guests of this national historic site to examine the issues and compelling stories that have evolved from the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.
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