|While much of the U.S. was segregated, the public
school systems were no exception. Although the U.S. Supreme Court
had ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional in 1954,
integration was rarely or slowly enforced in the South. Groups were
even created to try and prevent the integration at certain schools.
One of the schools that African-American students were
prohibited from attending was Central High School in Little Rock,
Arkansas. Many political figures were in favor segregating schools,
and their influences often helped to prevent integration. Orval
Faubus, Arkansas' governor, was one such leader. His actions
strongly reflected his prejudice when the National Guard tried to
prevent nine African-American students, six females and three
males, from entering the all-white Central High School. Faubus also
encouraged trouble during the integration process and circulated
false rumors of a possible riot.
The students were finally let in when national troops were sent
to Little Rock by President Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969).
The Little Rock Nine were jeered and taunted at by whites, but they
helped to speed up the process of integration.
Faubus later tried to stop integration again by closing down the
school, but he was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court. Interestingly
enough, the Arkansas governor was promoting segregation in hopes of
getting reelected by the mostly anti-intergration voters of Little