1957 - 1959





Governor Orval E. Faubus speaks to protesters

on the State Capitol steps, September 2, 1957 (Labor Day)

Little Rock, Arkansas



Governor Orval Faubus orders the Arkansas National

Guard to prohibit African American students

from entering Central High School and

announces his plans in a televised speech.

Governor Orval Faubus himself was not a dyed-in-the wool segregationist, but he had received significant pressure from the more conservative wing of the Arkansas Democratic Party, which controlled politics in that state at the time, after he had indicated the previous year that he would investigate bring Arkansas into compliance with the Brown decision.  Faubus took his stand against integration and against the federal court order that required it.

Faubus's order set him on a collision course with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was determined to enforce the orders of the Federal courts, even though he was lukewarm, at best, on the goal of desegregation of public schools.  Eisenhower federalized the National Guard and ordered them to return to their barracks.  Eisenhower then deployed elements of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to protect the students.


Pres. Eisenhower, Gov. Faubus & Congressman Hays

Meeting at Newport Naval Base, R.I.

Little Rock Crisis talks

September 14, 1957



Mayor Woodrow W. Mann


Woodrow W. Mann was an unlikely hero of the American civil rights movement. It was Mann, who, as mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, asked President Dwight Eisenhower to send in soldiers to ensure the integration of the town's Central High School.

Yet Mann had never been a supporter of classroom integration. Rather, he saw himself as a practical and honest civil servant, committed to upholding the law of the land, who was forced to take a stand against the racist agitation of the state's governor, Orville Faubus. "Mann did what needed to be done and stood up," said Roy Reed, Faubus's biographer, "and it cost him whatever future he had in politics in Arkansas."


Telegram Mayor Mann sent to President Eisenhower


101 Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles"

Coming into Little Rock, September 24, 1957

By order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower


Arkansas National Guard is federalized

September 25, 1957

By order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower


Little Rock Nine are escorted into Little Rock

 Central High on their first full day of classes

 September 25, 1957


Little Rock Central High School

Life Magazine 10/7/1957


Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus

Press Conference

Closing of All Little Rock Schools 1958 - 1959



Little Rock Central High School 1958 - 1959

"empty hallways at Central High"

All schools were closed in Little Rock


Please note that during this two (2) year period, there was no property damage, and no one was injured sufficiently to be hospitalized and no lives were lost.  Compare this record with the racial riots that followed in more than 200 American cities, none of them in Arkansas, in which many lives were lost, and thousands were injured and property damage ranged into the millions of dollars.  Little Rock and Arkansas came out remarkable well.