Sept. 24, 1957
Nine Black students were blocked from entering Arkansas’ Central High school on the orders of Gov. Orval Faubus. The next day, despite threats, the students walked into the school, escorted by the 101st Airborne Division. Despite a year of violent threats, several of the “Little Rock Nine” managed to graduate from Central High.
In 1999, the nine – Melba Pattillo Beals, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Carolotta Walls Lanier, Terence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas, Minnijean Brown Trickey and Thelma Mothershed Wair – received the Congressional Gold Medal, honoring them and their courage. On the 60th anniversary, an opera in progress titled “Little Rock Nine” was unveiled.