Separation of Powers: Letter from President Eisenhower Document Analysis

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education that segregated schools were “inherently unequal.” In 1957, Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., was ordered to desegregate. However, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine African American students from entering the school on Sept. 3. A U.S. District Court ruled against the use of the National Guard at the school. When the students returned to the school, they were met by a mob of 1,000 segregationists, and, police removed them for their own protection. President Dwight Eisenhower then ordered federal troops to Central High to protect the students. This conversation starter uses a letter from Eisenhower to Sen. John Stennis (D, Mississippi) on Oct. 7, 1957, in which the president explains the role of the executive branch. Find this lesson in the Separation of Powers module.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis DBQ

Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus ordered his state’s National Guard to block the entry of nine newly-enrolled African American students to Central High School in Little Rock. A violent mob gathered in front of the school, and city police failed to control it. Finally, when asked for assistance by the mayor of Little Rock, President Eisenhower believed his constitutional duty to take care that the laws were faithfully executed left him no choice but to intervene…

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Arguing Arkansas: Analyzing the Impact of Eisenhower’s Little Rock Speech

This lesson, developed in collaboration with the National Archives, has students explore a number of primary sources, all connected to the events at Little Rock High School. It asks students to consider how the events at Little Rock may or may not have been impacted by the words and leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: History
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Meaning of Memorial Day

How should we remember those who have died in service of their country? In what manner and spirit should we remember? Why Memorial Day today? Our ebook, “The Meaning of Memorial Day,” explores these questions with selections from American authors and statesmen, including Herman Melville, Ernie Pyle, Louisa May Alcott, Frederick Douglass, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12