On This Day, Sept 4, 1957 – Arkansas Troops Prevent Desegregation

Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus enlists the National Guard to prevent nine African-American students from entering Central High School in Little Rock. The armed Arkansas militia troops surrounded the school while an angry crowd of some 400 whites jeered, booed, and threatened to lynch the frightened African-American teenagers, who fled shortly after arriving. Faubus took the action in violation of a federal order to integrate the school. The conflict set the stage for the first major test of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African-American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in...

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