Little Rock Central High School

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1500 S Park St, Little Rock, AR, USA
Little Rock Central High School - NPS Visitor's center lobby
Little Rock Central High School - Little Rock Central high school
Little Rock Central High School - Little Rock Central high school

Little Rock Central High School Reviews

HuBison HuBison
417 reviews
What a GREAT piece of history to visit Jul 13, 2011
On the way from the east coast to the west coast, we stopped in Little Rock to visit the Little Rock Central High School Museum and Visitor's Center...that was our little part of history.

What a great history and it was FREE (since it's part of the National Park Service). The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center contains interactive exhibits on the 1957 desegregation crisis at Little Rock Central High School with several audio-visual programs that introduce visitors to the complex history of the events at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. In addition, the exhibits contain interactive oral history listening stations where visitors can learn about the events from the participants.

There are so many interesting facts too: In 1958, Senior Ernest Green became the first African American graduate of Central High School. Martin Luther King, Jr. attended the ceremony as a guest of the Green family. Although she eventually made it into the door, Minnijean Brown, one of the nine African American students who desegregated Central High School in 1957, was expelled in February 1958 for retaliating against repeated harassment by her white classmates. Dunbar High School served as the school for African American students in Little Rock prior to desegregation. Today, it is a magnet middle school and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to wandering the visitor's center for about an hour and a half, ranger-led tours of Little Rock Central High School are offered Mondays through Fridays at 9:00 a.m. and at 1:15 p.m. This walking tour lasts at least 45 minutes, but we got there too late. It is still a functioning and operating school and you can't just wander through it.

"In the fall of 1957 Little Rock became the symbol of state resistance to school desegregation. Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus directly questioned the sanctity of the federal court system and the authority of the United States Supreme Court's desegregation ruling while nine African-American high school students sought an education at the all-white Little Rock Central High School."

"The controversy in Little Rock was the first fundamental test of the United States resolve to enforce African-American civil rights in the face of massive southern defiance during the period following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decisions. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower was compelled by white mob violence to use federal troops to ensure the rights of African-American children to attend the previously all-white school, he became the first president since the post-Civil War Reconstruction period to use federal troops in support of African-American civil rights." Visit the site to learn more about the history and why you should visit.
NPS Visitor's center lobby
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