Elizabeth Eckford stands amid a hostile crowd outside Central High School in Little Rock on Sept. 4, 1957.
Elizabeth Eckford stands amid a hostile crowd outside Central High School in Little Rock on Sept. 4, 1957. Corbis
A half-century ago, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus ordered troops from the Arkansas National Guard to Central High School in Little Rock because the school board had decided to allow nine black students to attend the previously all-white school.
As is often the case with great historical events, a single image stays in our collective memory. For that ugly first day of school on Sept. 4, 1957, in Little Rock, Ark., it is the image of a crisply dressed Elizabeth Eckford surrounded by an angry crowd.
In the coming weeks and months, we will revisit Eckford's progress, and that of the "Little Rock Nine," since that day as we follow the singular events in Little Rock.