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