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On this day: AR Nat. Guard prevents Little Rock Nine from going to school

Unfortunately: On this day in 1957 Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus used the Arkansas National Guard to prevent 9 black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. He left the National Guard in place for 16 days until a federal judge ordered him to withdraw them.

On the Twenty-third, the students were snuck into the school and when the white parents who had been demonstrating outside heard of it there was a near riot. The students were quickly whisked from the school to ensure their safety.

On September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborn Division to escort the black students into Little Rock Central High School and to ensure their safety. Eisenhower also federalized the Arkansas National Guard.

The 101st stayed at Central High until Thanksgiving when its guard duties were handed over to Task Force 153rd Infantry, a specialized unit of the Arkansas National Guard. Task Force 153rd Infantry stayed on guard duty at Central High until the end of the school year.

Arkansas Troops Bar Negro Pupils; Governor Defiant | New York Times’ On This Day

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Written by Jeff

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 2:00 pm

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