The governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, discusses the issues of desegregation at Central High School in Little Rock. Nine African American students, known as the Little Rock Nine, were met with protestors when they entered the all white school.
John Chancellor Reports on the Integration of Central High School
LESTER HOLT, reporting: NBC’s John Chancellor was in Little Rock covering the dramatic events.
Archival footage, NBC Reporter JOHN CHANCELLOR: Five minutes before the governor started speaking, the guard was removed. The few remaining guardsmen gathered in front of the school and were loaded into a truck and driven away. It was just about three hours after the court’s decision and it left Central High School unguarded for the first time in 18 days. Governor Faubus then expressed fears of another phase of the problem.
Archival footage, Governor ORVAL FAUBUS: It is inconceivable to me that the parents of the Negro children, who have already been enrolled in Central High School by Superintendent Virgil Blossom, would want their children in the school now, in the situation that prevails. I hope that the NAACP, who instigated, sponsored, and urged the move, will not be so reckless as to push the matter of entering the school until a cooling off period has elapsed.
CHANCELLOR: The problems of Little Rock have passed at least temporarily, from the courts into the area of human logistics. Now that the National Guard no longer blocks the way of Negro students, the problem is one of getting nine brown-skinned youngsters passed the expected crowds at the high school. Since there is no way of measuring violence in advance, it seems certain that the Negroes will first have to gage the size and the temper of the crowds before they can move. Therefore I think it is very unlikely that they will try to enter the building tomorrow, but it is absolutely certain that Negro students will enter the high school sometime this week.
In a key event of the American civil rights movement, nine black students enrolled at formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1957, testing a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The court had mandated that all public schools in the country be integrated “with all deliberate speed” in its decision related to the groundbreaking case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
Little Rock, Arkansas, Central High School, Desegregation, Integration, Brown v. Board of Education, United States Supreme Court, National Guard, Governor Orval E. Faubus, Race, Civil Rights, Education, Students, Mob, Police, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Executive Order, Blacks, African Americans, Soldiers, NAACP, John Chancellor