Little Rock 1957


In 1957, desegregation laws came into effect at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Students escorted into school by US soldiers
Soldiers had to protect the black students from attack

Central High decided to enrol nine black students in September.


The governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus sent state soldiers to the school to stop the black students entering.

President Eisenhower sent 1000 US soldiers to protect the black students on their way to and from school.

Although the black students were subject to threats and violence the black students never retaliated.

One of the students, Elizabeth Eckford recalled that my knees started to shake and I wondered if I would make it to school. The crowd moved closer. Somebody started yelling ‘Drag her over to this tree! Let’s take care of that ******'.


The events in Little Rock attracted worldwide attention to the civil rights movement.

The video below describes the events of the Little Rock crisis 1957.