The Little Rock Nine

Fifty years ago today, under orders from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army protected nine African American schoolchildren as they attended class at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in defiance of state governor Orval Faubus and segregationist wishes. Integration at Central High was a defining moment in the postwar Civil Rights era for many reasons, not the least of which being that it demonstrated the federal government was willing to defend the rights of minorities with force when it had to, emboldening the then young movement.

Funny thing is, that president who forcefully backed civil rights, got us out of a difficult war, and warned about the military-industrial complex, was a Republican.

I miss Ike.


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