At only 6 yrs old, Bridges was escorted to school by U.S. Marshals as the court-ordered first day of integrated schools started. Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is known as the 1st African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. She attended William Frantz Elementary School at 3811 North Galvez Street, New Orleans, LA
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Bridges describes it, “Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.” Former United States Deputy Marshal Charles Burks later recalled, “She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn’t whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier, and we’re all very proud of her.”
As soon as Bridges got into the school, white parents went in and brought their own children out; all teachers refused to teach while a black child was enrolled. They hired Barbara Henry, from Boston, Massachusetts, to teach Bridges, and for over a year Mrs. Henry taught her alone, “as if she were teaching a whole class.” That first day, Bridges and her adult companions spent the entire day in the principal’s office; the chaos of the school prevented their moving to the classroom until the second day.
Read more about her life and legacy at: Daily Black History Facts