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. Jazzzzzzzz

    meaning Philip 12:03 am
    I know who it is

    September 5, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    HITLER? He just needed the Jew's money...he couldn't have cared less about God or Jews otherwise. Germany has zero natural gas and oil, they must import every single drop. People say that Germany would have fared better had they bot attacked russia, but they had bo choice, really. The needed the same oil that China burns today, oil found in and around the Caspian Sea area basin. Hitler actually allowed Jews to leave Germany, but without their riches. Most Jews stayed and stashed their wealth, but about a dozen shiploads full of Jews did leave, but were forced to return...nobody, not even Americans, would grant them assylum..

    September 5, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzzzz

    really Not sure, Don't want to call it yet
    But one thing is for absolutely sure this is NOT Philip
    Don't know why any troll would go this far to troll you, Hmmm

    September 5, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Interesting for history buffs, back in the year 64 AD, Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem with a siege barrier for two years, then left unexpectadly. Christians living in Jerusalem fled as they were warned, but virtually every Jew stayed, thinking their walls could save them. The roman armies did in fact return and lay siege to Jerusalem yet again, and for another 2 years. According to Jewish historian Josephus, it got so bad inside of the city, women were caught eating their own babies. Amazing how both in the first century, and the last one, both times that the Jews were horribly assaulted, most stayed with their wealth, when on both occassions, they were given opportunities to save themselves and their families if they would have just abandoned their riches and fled for their lives.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Oopsy...the Roman's actually built the siege fence in 59-60 AD. The complete destruction of Jerusalem occured in the year 64 AD. my bad.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    AND of further interest, according to bible writers, the Roman's siege fence was buit from thousands of 'stauros'...the same greek word translated "cross" in most bibles. But history does not record the romans ever building siege fences out of crosses. They used stakes and upright poles. Ask even a first year student of the greek language what the greek word (the NT was originally written in greek) 'stauros' literally means in english. The answer? Upright stake or pole...the word itself does not allow for a cross-beam. Interestingly, even ancient Babylonians were wearing crosses around their necks and placing them atop the tall phallic symbol poles (steeples) of their pagan temples. An ancient babylonian temple could be mistaken for many modern-day temples and churches.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jazzzzzzzz

    What did you tell me about those Steeples Philip
    I'll know it's you, if you give me the right answer

    September 5, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jazzzzzzzz

    opps didn't that word
    It is you
    ok, their are many trolls on tonight

    September 5, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jazzzzzzzz

    Rather "Opps, didn't see that word"

    September 5, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    ...and if my most-loved person were shot or stabbed to death, I for one would not be wearing chrome plated replicas of the gun or knife that I thought was used to murder him around my neck. But to each their own. And I totally doubt that I'd ever have one tattoo'd on my skin. No way.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    PS...nobody could troll the above. No way, no how. The above is geinuine grade A Philip. (well, I didn't get straight A's in HS. I got one B, and actually flunked one class. (drivers education. It was first period and I was too tardy. Plus the teacher was also the baseball coach and wanted me to play on the team. I was into soccer back then. Baseball seemed boring to me)

    September 5, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jazzzzzzzz

    Sorry, For a minute it didn't sound like you
    I do know this and the trolls are out or have been for awhile
    forgive me for hurting you
    It's NEVER my intention EVER

    September 5, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    Jazzzz my phone does not allow for correct punctuation Besides that what will a troll do They cant get you The only thing they can do is make it hard to communicate with other people So please calm down jazzzz

    September 5, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. gung hoe

    Theres people here that care about you

    September 5, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Trolls have been able to garner your undying devotion to commenting on their posts, which contain absolutly zero infromation or value. For every response I've recieved from you people in the past year or so, each and virtually every single one f you have replied to trolls 10 times. But out of ten ain't bad...if yer playing soccer. See why I don't like baseball? he he

    September 5, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
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