The Little Rock School Integration Crisis
On September 2, the day before school was to start in Little Rock, Arkansas,Governor Orval Faubus ordered the state’s National Guard to surround Central High School to prevent entry of African-American students. The group, since known as the Little Rock Nine, did not attend the first day, but on September 4, the National Guardsmen barred their entry to Central High School.
Three weeks later, amid mob violence outside of the school, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the dispatch of federal troops to uphold the law. Read More.
Photo: National Guard Troops lined up along Park Street in front of Little Rock Central High School. Courtesy of the Central High Museum Historical Collections/UALR Archives and Special Collections. September 1957.
-from the Presidential Timeline
LBJ Signs the Civil Rights Act
On this day in 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex in public accommodations such as hotels, theaters, parks, restaurants, and other public places.
The act also authorized the withdrawal of Federal funds from programs that practice discrimination. It discouraged job discrimination through the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Additionally, it authorized the Attorney General to bring lawsuits against schools practicing segregation, and made the Commission on Civil Rights a permanent organization.
Photo: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others behind him. East Room, White House. 7/2/64.
-from the LBJ Library
"That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything. Our political work has only begun when we have the ballot. And that work should be carried out exactly as our college work is — as any good work which we undertake is — it must be thoughtful, idealistic, clean, effective."
-Lou Henry Hoover, April 10, 1920
Before she was First Lady, Lou Henry Hoover spoke at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. At the time of her speech, the 19th Amendment had been passed by Congress. On August 18, 1920, the amendment was ratified, guaranteeing American women the right to vote.
-from the Hoover Library
Brown vs. Board of Education
On May 17, 1954 the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision overturning “separate but equal” as unconstitutional, stating that segregation in public schools was a violation of the 14th amendment.
Four years earlier, members of the Topeka, Kansas, Chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) challenged the “separate but equal” doctrine governing public education through a class action suit when they were denied the opportunity to enroll their children in the white-only schools.
When the Topeka case made its way to the United States Supreme Court it was combined with other NAACP cases from Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. The combined cases became known as Oliver L. Brown et. al. vs. The Board of Education of Topeka (KS).
You can see the original Complaint against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Court Order, and correspondences between President Eisenhower about Brown vs. Board of Education from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Papers as President here.
Pictured: Supreme Court Opinion of Brown vs. Board of Education, pages 1-3. 5/31/55.
-from the Eisenhower Library
President Johnson and his first school teacher Mrs. Kathryn Deadrich Loney—“Miss Kate”—sat together as President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 into law
on Sunday, April 11, 1965.The ceremony took place at Junction School, the one-room schoolhouse near Stonewall, Texas, where Johnson began his education. The Act was the first general aid to education law, represented a major new commitment of the federal government to education, and focused on disadvantaged children in city slums and rural areas.
What do you remember about your first teacher?
For more great photos of teachers all week, visit the National Archives Education page on Facebook.
(Image: Photograph of President Lyndon Johnson at the Signing Ceremony for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act at the Former Junction Elementary School, Johnson City, Texas, 04/11/1965. From the White House Photo Office Collection at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum http://research.archives.gov/description/2803432)
— in Stonewall, TX.