On September 24, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Troops from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division enforced the integration plan agreed to by the high school, and protected the nine African American students enrolled there. 

Prior to Eisenhower’s actions, Gov. Orval Fabus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to block the Little Rock Nine from entering the high school. The president then sent in the Army and federalized the entire Arkansas National Guard. By federalizing the guard, Eisenhower mobilized members as federal—not state—military personnel.

Desegregation was a slow and violent process across the U.S. African American students, families, and communities were harassed, bullied, and attacked. All-white “splinter school districts” persisted until the early 1970s.

army
Noun

military land forces.

enroll
Verb

to enter or participate.

federal
Adjective

having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).

integration
Noun

process of mixing different substances or groups.

military
Noun

armed forces.

National Guard
Noun

military force controlled by a U.S. state but funded by the federal government and called up as part of the Army during national emergencies.

persist
Verb

to endure or continue.

personnel
Noun

employees or all people working toward a common goal.

prior
Adjective

before or ahead of.