Little Rock Nine

Elizabeth Eckford runs a gauntlet of hate to attend high school in Little Rock. The young white woman just over her shoulder with her mouth open, yelling at her is Hazel Bryan-- Arkansas September 1957
Will Counts

September 4th, 1957 was the first day of school in Little Rock Arkansas. Nine black children attempted to start classes at the all white Central High school. Their entry was blocked by hundreds of Arkansas national Guardsmen who had been sent on direct orders issued by Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus to block the entry of the nine black students who will forever live on in history as the Little Rock Nine.

Ms. Robin White NPS Superintendent Little Rock Central High with fellow park rangers
National Park Service

A trip to Arkansas results in an emotional conversation about racism

The human side of Civil War soldiers, from dress, diet to disease and letters home

The National Park's Chickamauga Battlefield in Georgia with NPS Ranger Christopher Young

Robin White National Park Service Superintendent at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
National Park Service

When I stopped in to visit with Robin White, Superintendent at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, our conversation quickly led to tears. When I interviewed Ms. White a couple years ago, the focus was on the September 1957 events at Little Rock Central High, and lessons learned. On this visit, we changed the focus. I said, let’s talk about lessons learned, but more importantly, lessons not learned in the intervening six decades. 

Issues & Ideas: air date 10-23-2013

Oct 23, 2013

  • Fifty-six years ago nine black children attempted to start classes at the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. They were blocked by the national guard, on orders from the state's governor, until President Eisenhower placed the guard under federal command, and ensured those children would be escorted into the school. That was just the beginning of a long and arduous ordeal for the Little Rock Nine.