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Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower
 
Photograph of Arkansas National Guard troops at Little Rock's Central High School.
Arkansas National Guard troops and large crowd outside of Little Rock's Central High School, September 5, 1957.

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Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis
Can you imagine armed troops blocking you from going to school? That's what happened in Little Rock, Arkansas in the fall of 1957. Governor Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling at Central High School. Central High was an all white school.

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Topeka made segregation in public schools illegal. Governor Faubus defied this decision. He also defied a 1955 ruling (Brown II). The 1955 decision ordered that public schools be desegregated with all deliberate speed.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, was presented with a difficult problem. He wanted to uphold the Constitution and the laws, but also avoid a possible bloody confrontation in Arkansas, where emotions ran high. What do you think Eisenhower did?

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