Gotta Watch: Story behind Little Rock 9
September 4th, 2011
01:20 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Story behind Little Rock 9

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared all laws establishing segrated schools unconstitutional. That meant African-American students could legally attend all-white schools. By 1957, the NAACP registered a group of nine black students to attend Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.  The school board agreed to comply with the 1954 ruling and approved a plan for gradual integration that would start that school year. 

On September 4, that group of students, later nicknamed the "Little Rock 9," attempted to enter Central High on the first day of school, but a crowd of angry students and hundreds of National Guardsmen blocked them from entering. The incident grabbed national attention - and the attention of President Eisenhower. As a result, the nine students attended the school under federal protection, opening the door for black students across the country. In today's Gotta Watch, we're featuring highlights from that historic day and reaction from the Little Rock 9 as they look back on their experiences three decades later.

A day that changed history – Take a look at this historical footage from the very day the so-called Little Rock 9 were blocked from entering their school.

'It had to be done' – Thirty years after being blocked from entering Little Rock Central High School, Gloria Ray Karlmark speaks to a reporter ahead of her first visit to the school since that infamous day.

A step towards equality – The Little Rock 9 were welcomed back to Little Rock Central High 30 years later.

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Filed under: Arkansas • Civil Rights • Courts • Education • Gotta Watch • Hate crime • History • Human rights • Justice • U.S.
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. gung hoe

    Lets just open up the vault and give away what we dont have

    September 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Misst ya banasy look me up when ya get back have fun

    September 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    @ Freedom 44
    well said and admirable. In these times of fear, racism & hatred. It is good to have sane thoughts.

    @ Philip
    That couldn't be you at 3:25

    September 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Please provide us with more Ahkmed the Terror Guy.
    I like his posts, and thinking about cocoa and marshmallows renders me nauseated.

    September 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. snow393

    who was it that said why cant we all get along its been bugging me for days?

    September 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @saywhat...yes, that is me @3:25. It was part of the answer to my "tricky" question involving Bill Clinton being emplyed by Gerorge HW Bush when he was Bush was head of the CIA, and again for the CIA-backed Bush-Zapata oil corp. after he stopped being AK's governor.

    September 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ahkmed the Terror Guy

    Joey? Ahkmed is to be thinking Joey is to be a Clinton man? Am did you not to be understanding Philip's posts about King William? Even Ahkmed who is ignorant Afghani know Bill not to be how you say strightening of the shooting.

    September 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    @ Philip
    O.K. Thanks. Informative.
    We all know what the Carlyle Group, Haliburton & the likes of Blackwater were all about. And this. it all adds up.

    September 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @ snow393:

    Rodney King

    September 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I still aspire to get a cut of war profits. Any wars will do.
    Last New Year's Eve I made two resolutions. One was to start something that would make me a billionaire.
    I'm thinking.

    September 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. snow393

    somebody tell me who said" why can t we all just get along" I keep thinking its Johny Kockren ??? its been bugging me for days!!!!!

    September 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. snow393

    @banasy, thank you , I just could not rember sorry I didnot see your other post I wont forget it now.

    September 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. snow393

    thanks banasy©

    September 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip are welcome. Just to sort of show some credentials (most people think this info is only on web) I worked in the world's oilfields for most of my life, straight our of HS in '76 thru '98 when I retired as an Drilling Consultant. So I do have some experience backing up what I post here concerning these things. I've spent countless hours not only reading books and online, but speaking with old men from around the world, picking their brains for info. These are among the things I found-out that most all media outlets don't mention...just like most people here. Even when they find out...mums the word. I think that they feel the CIA will get them. And the CIA will be doing just that here shortly.(CIA Domestic Affairs Div. is in Denver now. Not as a central location to go-after savvy bloggers...but as one to go after those who defraud Uncle Sam)

    September 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Now why would Uncle Sam turn the CIA loose on domestic Americans? For one, many Americans have been defrauding Uncle Sam in various and sundry ways for decades. Obviously, the FBI hasn't been able to curtail the problem. Also, take a look at how wealthy AND debt-free China is becoming. Sure, they have cheap labor, and they pay about one-third what we pay for oil, but another real reason they rate so high financially is that fraud is considered to be an offense punishable by death. About 1,200 were executed last year. The Chinese gov. does not tolerate fraud in the business commuinity like ours does, and this helps the tremendously when it comes to making the big bucks. Not that China is better than you, unless you've been defrauding US.

    September 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
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