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African American Studies Center

Little Rock Nine

The battle to desegregate the public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the crisis that erupted when nine African American students attempted to desegregate Little Rock's Central High School are well known in the history of the civil rights movement. n September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and authorized the secretary of defense to send in one thousand paratroopers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The next day, paratroopers escorted the nine students into Central High School. Throughout the remainder of the year, white students continually harassed the nine students. At the graduation ceremonies in the spring of 1958, over one hundred national guardsmen were in attendance to handle any protest that may have arisen from Ernest Green's graduation.

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