Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas, calls out the National Guard to prevent The Little Rock Nine from enrolling in Central High School.
Several segregationist councils threatened to hold protests at Central High and physically block the black students from entering the school. Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to support the segregationists on September 4, 1957.
The sight of a line of soldiers blocking out the students made national headlines and polarized the nation.
Regarding the accompanying crowd, one of the nine students, Elizabeth Eckford, recalled:
“They moved closer and closer…Somebody started yelling…I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd—someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me.”
The Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower.