The Battle of Little Rock

Simeon Booker

in Shocking the Conscience

Published by University Press of Mississippi

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9781617037894
Published online March 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781617037900 | DOI:
The Battle of Little Rock

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In this chapter, the author narrates the events surrounding the battle of Little Rock that occurred on September 24, 1957. On that day, 1,000 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagle” Division of the 327th Infantry Regiment descended into Little Rock’s Central High School. All the black soldiers in the convoy were ordered to remain on the trucks until they reached camp, a clear sign of desegregation in the integrated U.S. Army. Central High School became the center of a civil rights battle following the effort to enroll nine black kids in the 2,000-student, white high school: Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Carlotta Walls, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Beals, Jefferson Thomas, and Terrence Roberts. Little Rock did not return to normalcy when the 1957–1958 school year ended, as Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus continued to manipulate the state’s public schools to prevent integration. In particular, Faubus got the state legislature to pass a law allowing him to close schools and lease them to “private school” corporations.

Keywords: desegregation; Jet; Little Rock; Central High School; civil rights; Ernest Green; Arkansas; Orval Faubus; public schools; integration

Chapter.  8569 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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