Little Rock Nine


On September 23, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower issued Executive Order #10730, which federalized the Arkansas National Guard. The Guard had been used to block 9 African-American students from entering Little Rock Central High School. This standoff stemmed from the landmark 1954 US Supreme Court decision in Brown v Board of Education that declared school desegregation unconstitutional.

In 1957 as plans to desegregate Little Rock school grew closer, the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, grew more opposed to the racial integration. Faubus eventually deployed Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas National Guard to support those opposed to the integration movement. The Arkansas National Guard set up around Little Rock Central High School and refused to allow the selected African-American students in.

This led Eisenhower to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock and ordered the federalization of the Arkansas National Guard. Once federalized, the Governor Faubus no longer had control of the Guard. Some portions of the Guard were now assigned to assist in the racial integration. By the end of September the 9 African-American students were attending school. Although the fight over integration in Arkansas was not yet over, Eisenhower had sent a clear message that defying a US Supreme Court decision would not be tolerated.


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