U.S. Supreme court calls for desegregation of public schools in Brown vs. Board case.
Central High's Board of Education
Little Rock’s Central High School board sends out a policy statement agreeing to comply with ruling.
NAACP vs. Little Rock School Board
NAACP petitions the Little Rock School Board for
Little Rock School Board
May 24, 1955:
The Little Rock School Board announces they will have gradual integration starting in the High School, starting in the school year of 1957. The integration of younger grades is planned to occur during the next six years.
Aaron vs. Cooper
Aaron vs. Cooper is dismissed stating that Little Rock has complied in "utmost good faith".
Governor Faubus signs four school segregation laws passed by the state legislator.
Mother's League of Central High
Mother's League of Central High, a pro-segregation
group holds its first public meeting. They file a
motion for temporary injunction against school
Chancellor Murray Reed & Federal Judge Ronald Davies
Chancellor Murray Reed grants the injunction motion filed two days prior claiming segregation could lead to violence.
Federal Judge Ronald Davies nullifies the injunction and orders Little
Rock's School Board to proceed with the desegregation plan.
Governor Orval Faubus orders the Arkansas National Guard to prohibit African American students from entering Central High in a
Mother's League of Central High & Judge Davies
The Mother's League gathers at Central High in the morning for a "sunrise service". The citizen's council, parents and students all join. African American students are ordered to stay home by the superintendent. Judge Davies orders integration to proceed the next day.
Little Rock Nine
Little Rock Nine and one other African American student attempt to attend Central High but are turned away by the National Guard.
Judge Davies vs. Faubus
Federal Judge Ronald Davies rules that Faubus is not using the
National Guard troops to preserve law and order and orders them to be removed. Faubus removes the gaurdsmen and the Little Rock Police Deptartment moves in.
First Try, Eisenhower Calls Situation Disgrace
Over 1,000 angry whites gather at Central High while the nine African American students are escorted inside. Four African American newscasters are attacked. The Little Rock Police Department end up removing the nine students for their safety. President Eisenhower calls the rioting "disgraceful" and orders federal troops to Little Rock.
Mayor Woodrow Mann, Eisenhower and the Screaming Eagles
Woodrow Mann, Little Rock's mayor, asks Eisenhower for help. Eisenhower sends 1,200 members of the 101st Airborne Division, the "Screaming Eagles", come to Little Rock. The Arkansas National Guard is placed under federal orders.
Little Rock Nine's First Day
The 101st Airborne soldiers escort the "Little Rock Nine" into Central High for their first full day of classes.
101st Airborne Leave, Little Rock Nine Attacked
The 101st Airborne are replaced at Central High
by Arkansas National guardsmen. The Little
Rock Nine are immediately attacked more.
101st Airborne Returns, Hanging At School
The 101st Airborne is ordered to return to Little Rock. About 75 white students walk out of school to hang an African American dummy in a
vacant lot from a tree.
101st Airborne Leaves, National Guard Takes Over
The gradual withdrawal of the 101st Airborne completed. For the rest of the year, the National Guard handles security.
Minnijean Brown Suspended
Little Rock Nine's Minnijean Brown suspended
for dumping chili on two boys.
State Legislator Helps Faubus Avoid Integration
The state legislator passes a law allowing Faubus to close public schools to avoid integration and to lease the closed schools to private schools.
Minnijean Brown Returns
Minnijean Brown returns from suspension.
Minnijean Brown Expelled
Minnijean calls a harasser "white trash". She is
expelled for the rest of the school year.
Ernest Green Graduates
Ernest Green becomes first African American to
graduate from Central High School.
Cooper vs. Aaron
Due to many discipline problems during the school year, the school board asks the court for permission to delay the desegregation plan in Cooper vs. Aaron.
Judge Harry Lemley Delays Integration for Years, NAACP Appeals
Judge Harry Lemley grants the delay of integration at Central High until January 1961. He states that although African American's have
the right to attend white schools, "the time has not come to enjoy [that right]". The NAACP appeals.
U.S. Supreme Court Pushes Desegregation
Under appeal, U.S. Supreme Court rules that Little Rock must continue with desegregation process.
Governor Faubus Closes Schools
Governor Faubus orders four Little Rock High Schools closed as of 8 a.m. while pending outcome of the public vote.
WEC Pushes to Reopen Schools
The Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools forms and begins to advocate to reopen the schools on an integrated basis.
Votes Against Integration, Schools Stay Closed
Citizens vote 19,470 to 7,561 against integration
and the schools remain closed.
Young African Americans march in Washington, D.C. to support integration.
School Board Evenly Divided
A new school board is elected, evenly divided
with segregationists and integrationists.
High Schools Reopened
The new school board announces it will reopen
the high schools.
Chamber of Commerce Reopens Schools
Little Rock Chamber of Commerce votes in favor of reopening the closed schools on a plan of minimum integration.
Segregation in the School Board
Segregationist school board members vote to not renew the contract of 44 teachers and administrators that supported integration.
The WEC and local businessmen form Stop This Outrageous Purge (STOP) and ask for signatures to recall the three segregationist board members.
STOP Wins Election
STOP wins the recall election in close victory. Three segregationists are voted off the school board and three moderate members are
Little Rock's High Schools Open, Faubus & Segregationalists angry
August 12, 1959
Little Rock public high schools reopen, nearly a month early. Three African American students attend Central High and three attend Hall High despite protesters. Segregationists rally at the State Capitol where Faubus advises them that it was a “dark” day, but they should not give up the struggle. They then march to Central High School were the police and fire departments break up the mob. Twenty-one people are arrested.
All Schools Integrated
All public schools in Little Rock are finally integrated.