On September 4, 1957, these nine African American individuals were blocked by an angry mob of over 1,000 white men and women including the governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus and the National Guard of Arkansas (Little Rock, 2010). President Eisenhower sent the United States Army 101st Airborne Division and took over the National Guard commands in order to escort the nine into school safely (Little Rock, 2010). On September 23, 1957, the nine boys and girls finally made it into the school without harm while the angry mob shouted threats and chants at them (Little Rock, 2010). Melba Pattillo stated, “After 3 full days inside Central, I know that integration is a much bigger word than I thought” (Little Rock, 2010). However, in 1958 the Federal Court suspended the operation of the federal integration order until 1960-61 school year (Little Rock, 2010).
Anti-desegregations stand by as one of the numbers kicks Alex Wilson in the chest outside Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 23, 1957. A group of students known as the Little Rock Nine had attempted to enroll in the school and were initially prevented by Governor Orval Faubus who called on the National Guard to stop the school’s integration. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
This historical event had a great impact on the country. I could not imagine having to try to go to school and not being allowed in, or having threats made to me while walking into school. These nine people have made me really reflect and place myself in their shoes. They had enough courage and strength to enter the school and stay in school until it was closed, whereas many would have probably not even volunteered to go due to the situation during that time period and knowing the danger it would have brought to myself and my family. We should really respect and look up to these nine people for their courage.