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In the 1950s, the Arkansas public school system spent twice as much on white schools and students than black ones.

Virgil Blossom was the Superintendent of Pulaski County during the Little Rock Crisis. The original plan was mass integration of the area at all levels of all schools however it was shot down for being to radical. Instead the Blossom Plan emerged with only one school, Central High school, integrating at the start of 1957 with only nine black students. This plane would result in the focus of opponents of integration being concentrated pontoon one location, Little Rock Arkansas.

Virgil Blossom & The Blossom Plan

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Orval Faubus was the governor at the time of the Little Rock Crisis. He was responsible for the combination of local and state police forces along side the national guard turning away the Little Rock Nine from the school and prevent them from going to school. He was the main instigator and obstacle of integration in Arkansas.

Orval Faubus & his denial of federal law

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Over the duration of the 1957-8 school year many students were interviewed.

The 101st Airborne Division were the federal troops who occupied Little Rock AR to enforce integration and protect the Little Rock Nine who were under constant threat. The presence of the military had some of the most impact on students who attended Central High School.

101st Airborne

Troops from the 101st marching through a street of Little Rock.

After the long drawn out confrontations between rioters and the federal troops public opinion, especially in Little Rock, shifted to supporting the integration of black students even if was just to get rid of the federal presence.

Public Opinion Shifts