50 Years Ago: the Little Rock 9

"Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of our courts," President Dwight D. Eisenhower told the American people in an address given 50 years ago today. Eisenhower was in the midst of a racially charged crisis, having sent federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., to forcibly desegregate an all-white high school three years after the Supreme Court had ruled in the landmark Brown decision that "separate but equal" was no longer law.

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"Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of our courts," President Dwight D. Eisenhower told the American people in an address given 50 years ago today. Eisenhower was in the midst of a racially charged crisis, having sent federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., to forcibly desegregate an all-white high school three years after the Supreme Court had ruled in the landmark Brown decision that "separate but equal" was no longer law.

Black students known as the Little Rock Nine were at the center of a showdown between Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus and his mob of supporters and the federal government. The black students were able to attend Central High School, but not without Army protection.

Fifty years later, Terrence Roberts and some of the other black students who were present are marking the anniversary in Little Rock, which includes an appearance by former President and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. While progress has been made, Roberts, who is now a professor of psychology at Antioch University, says that racial struggles and segregation remain unresolved. 

Nikki Schwab