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In 1954 Louise Brown challenged the segregation laws in Topeka. She wanted her child to go to the white school nearby. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Supreme Court ruled that Louise was right and in 1954 Brown vs Board of education was passed. Some states obeyed the law, some disobeyed it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------In 1957 Arkansas became one of the first states to allow black Americans into white schools -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------However, in a small town called Little Rock, Governor Faubus wanted to oppose desegregation. He wanted to secure the support of the mainly white population in the upcoming elections. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In September 1957, nine black children set out for school in Little Rock. One of the students, Elizaebeth Eckford, got spilt up and faced racial abuse at the bus stop.


Gov ernor Faubus had ordered state troops to prevent the Little Rock Nine from entering the school. They were turned away.

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After the Little Rock Nine were turned away President Eisenhower became angry with Governor Faubus. He was breaking Federal Law, “Brown vs Board of Education. He ordered Faubus to Washington. Faubus promised to withdraw the state troops.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The next day, Faubus did withdraw the state troops. Riots broke out. The local police turned up. The Little Rock Nine got into the school. The crowd demanded a lynching. In order to save the Little Rock Nine, a black newsman led the crowd away from the school. He was hit with a brick over the head. The little Rock Nine managed to escape in Police Cars.


The day after the riots, President Eisenhower acted. He sent Airborne troops into the state to escort the Little Rock Nine and other black students into the school. The federal government was using soldiers to enforce federal law over state law.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The troops remained to protect the black children until November 1957. Then, the very state troopers who had been ordered by Faubus to stop the Little Rock Nine getting in, were ordered by the President to obey him and protect the students. They remained protecting the children until summer 1958, -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------At the end of the year, Faubus closed down the school for one year. They were ordered to reopen the school in 1960 by the Federal Government in Washington. Little Rock High School was now a mixed school. Was Little Rock a success for the Civil Rights Movement? Yes, a major Victory

The President had sent in troops to force a southern state to obey federal law. Even after Faubus shut the school it was reopened in 1960, becoming an integrated school. The media campaign showed Americans outside the south what was going on. The south appeared primitive and racist. The Civil Rights movement gained support from the event.

Your View

No, not really.

The Presidents use of troops made some southerners angry at his “abuse” of power over states rights. The KKK grew stronger. Even after 1960, only 3% of students at Little Rock were black. Was the crisis worth it? Many of the Little Rock Nine’s parents lost their jobs n the local community. Only one of the Little Rock graduated. Black people suffered.

Student work sheet  

Little Rock

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