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Letter from President Eisenhower to Senator Richard B. Russell

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Creator:Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Title:Letter from President Eisenhower to Senator Richard B. Russell
Date:1957 Sept. 27

Letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell, sent September 27, 1957 in response from Russell's telegram from the day before. In the letter, Eisenhower expresses his sadness at having to use force within a state to carry out the decisions of a federal court. He explains that had the State of Arkansas used its forces to support the court order the violence might not have occurred. He goes on to state, "When a State, by seeking to frustrate the orders of a Federal Court, encourages mobs of extremists to flout the orders of a Federal court, and when a State refuses to utilize its police powers to protect against mobs persons who are peacefully exercising their right under the Constitution as defined in such Court orders, the oath of office of the President requires that he take action to give that protection." He responds to Russell's allegations of wrongdoing by soldiers by promising that the Secretary of the Army will forward information to Senator Russell. In 1957, the Little Rock school district voted to integrate its schools. Governor Faubus, opposed to integration, sent members of the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students--the "Little Rock Nine"--from entering Little Rock Central High School on September 4. Federal courts ordered Governor Faubus to remove the troops and permit the nine students to enter the school on September 23, 1957. However, because of the rioting that continued outside, the students were removed from the school after three hours. President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered troops from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to restore order and to protect the students. After a single year of integration, Governor Faubus closed the Little Rock public high schools to avoid further integration. The United States Supreme Court declared Faubus' action illegal and the public schools reopened August 1959.

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Types:Letters (correspondence)
Subjects:Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969 | Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971 | Federal-state controversies--Arkansas | School integration--Arkansas--Little Rock | African American students--Arkansas--Little Rock | High school students--Arkansas--Little Rock | Segregation in education--Arkansas--Little Rock | Race riots--Arkansas--Little Rock | Violence--Arkansas--Little Rock | Race relations | Little Rock (Ark.)--Race relations--History--20th century | Central High School (Little Rock, Ark.) | Presidents--United States | Mobs--Arkansas--Little Rock | Legislators--United States | Politicians--Georgia | Soldiers--Arkansas--Little Rock | Little Rock (Ark.) | Pulaski County (Ark.) | Newport (R.I.) | Newport County (R.I.)
Collection:Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century Information: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Institution:Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
Contributors:Dwight D. Eisenhower Library | Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century
Online Publisher:Austin, Tex. : Learning Technology Center. The University of Texas at Austin ; | Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Administration | 2008
Original Material:

Collection: Dwight D. Eisenhower's Papers as President (Ann Whitman File), Series: Administration Series, Box Number: 23, Folder Title: Little Rock (2).

Rights and Usage:

Rights Status: Restricted - Possibly

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Forms part of: Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century.

Persistent Link to Item:http://presidentialtimeline.org/html/record.php?id=127