Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Little Rock Nine Remembered

I'm off momentarily to the final Washington Nationals home game at RFK stadium. Before I left, I wanted to make sure that I noted today's "date in history." Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. On this day, nine black students walked past a mob of more than 1000 whites to enter the school, testing the waters of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which had been handed down by the United States Supreme Court.

While one of the Little Rock Nine graduated from Central the next spring, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus closed the school in September until residents could vote on the integration. Not surprisingly, the citizens voted to keep the schools segregated. But federal intervention continued and integration took a strong hold throughout the South.

Central High will open a new visitor's center and several other events to commemorate the event. In conjunction with the anniversary, the Bill Clinton Presidential Library will display the original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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