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on this day 9/25 1789 – The first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights. 1957 – 300 U.S. Army troops stood guard as nine black students were escorted to class at Central High School in Little Rock, AR. The children had been forced to withdraw 2 days earlier because of unruly white mobs.


1492 – The crew of the Pinta, one of Christopher Columbus’ ships, mistakenly thought that they had spotted land.

1493 – Christopher Columbus left Spain with 17 ships on his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

1513 – The Pacific Ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa when he crossed the Isthmus of Panama. He named the body of water the South Sea. He was truly just the first European to see the Pacific Ocean.

1690 – One of America’s earliest newspapers published its first and last edition. The “Publik Occurences Both Foreign and Domestik” was published at the London Coffee House in Boston, MA, by Benjamin Harris.

1775 – Ethan Allen was captured by the British during the American Revolutionary War. He was leading the attack on Montreal.

1789 – The first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.

1847 – During the Mexican-American War, U.S. forces led by General Zachary Taylor captured Monterrey Mexico.

1882 – The first major league double header was played. It was between the Worcester and Providence teams.

1890 – The Sequoia National Park was established as a U.S. National Park in Central California.

1890 – Mormon President Wilford Woodruff issued a Manifesto in which the practice of polygamy was renounced.

1919 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, CO. The speaking tour was in support of the Treaty of Versailles.

1933 – Tom Mix was heard on NBC Radio for the first time. His show ran until June of 1950.

1956 – A transatlantic telephone-cable system began operation between Newfoundland and Scotland.

1957 – 300 U.S. Army troops stood guard as nine black students were escorted to class at Central High School in Little Rock, AR. The children had been forced to withdraw 2 days earlier because of unruly white mobs.

1965 – Willie Mays, at the age of 34, became the oldest man to hit 50 home runs in a single season. He had also set the record for the youngest to hit 50 ten years earlier.

1973 – The three crewmen of Skylab II landed in the Pacific Ocean after being on the U.S. space laboratory for 59 days.

1978 – Melissa Ludtke, a writer for “Sports Illustrated“, filed a suit in U.S. District Court. The result was that Major League Baseball could not bar female writers from the locker room after the game.

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court when she was sworn in as the 102nd justice. She had been nominated the previous July by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

1983 – A Soviet military officer, Stanislav Petrov, averted a potential worldwide nuclear war. He declared a false alarm after a U.S. attack was detected by a Soviet early warning system. It was later discovered the alarms had been set off when the satellite warning system mistakenly interpreted sunlight reflections off clouds as the presence of enemy missiles.

1986 – An 1894-S Barber Head dime was bought for $83,000 at a coin auction in California. It is one of a dozen that exist.

1987 – The booty collected from the Wydah, which sunk off Cape Cod in 1717, was auctioned off. The worth was around $400 million.

1990 – The U.N. Security Council voted to impose an air embargo against Iraq. Cuba was the only dissenting vote.

1991 – The U.N. Security Council unanimously ordered a worldwide arms embargo against Yugoslavia and all of its warring factions.

1992 – In Orlando, FL, a judge ruled in favor of 12-year-old Gregory Kingsley. He had sought a divorce from his biological parents.

1992 – The Mars Observer blasted off on a mission that cost $980 million. The probe has not been heard from since it reached Mars in August of 1993.

1995 – Ross Perot announced that he would form the Independence Party.

1997 – NBC sportscaster Marv Albert pled guilty to assault and battery of a lover. He was fired from NBC within hours.

1997 – Mark & Brian received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2001 – Michael Jordan announced that he would return to the NBA as a player for the Washington Wizards. Jordan became the president of basketball operations for the team on January 19, 2000.

2002 – U.S. forces landed in Ivory Coast to aid in the rescue foreigners trapped in a school by fighting between government troops and rebel troops. Rebels had attempted to take over the government on September 19.

2012 – China launched its first aircraft carrier into service.

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1957 Central High School integrated 1957


Under escort from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, nine black students enter all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Three weeks earlier, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had surrounded the school with National Guard troops to prevent its federal court-ordered racial integration. After a tense standoff, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1,000 army paratroopers to Little Rock to enforce the court order.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in educational facilities was unconstitutional. Five days later, the Little Rock School Board issued a statement saying it would comply with the decision when the Supreme Court outlined the method and time frame in which desegregation should be implemented.

Arkansas was at the time among the more progressive Southern states in regard to racial issues. The University of Arkansas School of Law was integrated in 1949, and the Little Rock Public Library in 1951. Even before the Supreme Court ordered integration to proceed “with all deliberate speed,” the Little Rock School Board in 1955 unanimously adopted a plan of integration to begin in 1957 at the high school level. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed suit, arguing the plan was too gradual, but a federal judge dismissed the suit, saying that the school board was acting in “utmost good faith.” Meanwhile, Little Rock’s public buses were desegregated. By 1957, seven out of Arkansas’ eight state universities were integrated.

In the spring of 1957, there were 517 black students who lived in the Central High School district. Eighty expressed an interest in attending Central in the fall, and they were interviewed by the Little Rock School Board, which narrowed down the number of candidates to 17. Eight of those students later decided to remain at all-black Horace Mann High School, leaving the “Little Rock Nine” to forge their way into Little Rock’s premier high school.

In August 1957, the newly formed Mother’s League of Central High School won a temporary injunction from the county chancellor to block integration of the school, charging that it “could lead to violence.” Federal District Judge Ronald Davies nullified the injunction on August 30. On September 2, Governor Orval Faubus—a staunch segregationist—called out the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School and prevent integration, ostensibly to prevent the bloodshed he claimed desegregation would cause. The next day, Judge Davies ordered integrated classes to begin on September 4.

That morning, 100 armed National Guard troops encircled Central High School. A mob of 400 white civilians gathered and turned ugly when the black students began to arrive, shouting racial epithets and threatening the teenagers with violence. The National Guard troops refused to let the black students pass and used their clubs to control the crowd. One of the nine, 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, was surrounded by the mob, which threatened to lynch her. She was finally led to safety by a sympathetic white woman.

Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann condemned Faubus’ decision to call out the National Guard, but the governor defended his action, reiterating that he did so to prevent violence. The governor also stated that integration would occur in Little Rock when and if a majority of people chose to support it. Faubus’ defiance of Judge Davies’ court order was the first major test of Brown v. Board of Educationand the biggest challenge of the federal government’s authority over the states since the Reconstruction Era.

The standoff continued, and on September 20 Judge Davies ruled that Faubus had used the troops to prevent integration, not to preserve law and order as he claimed. Faubus had no choice but to withdraw the National Guard troops. Authority over the explosive situation was put in the hands of the Little Rock Police Department.

On September 23, as a mob of 1,000 whites milled around outside Central High School, the nine black students managed to gain access to a side door. However, the mob became unruly when it learned the black students were inside, and the police evacuated them out of fear for their safety. That evening, President Eisenhower issued a special proclamation calling for opponents of the federal court order to “cease and desist.” On September 24, Little Rock’s mayor sent a telegram to the president asking him to send troops to maintain order and complete the integration process. Eisenhower immediately federalized the Arkansas National Guard and approved the deployment of U.S. troops to Little Rock. That evening, from the White House, the president delivered a nationally televised address in which he explained that he had taken the action to defend the rule of law and prevent “mob rule” and “anarchy.”  On September 25, the Little Rock Nine entered the school under heavily armed guard.

Troops remained at Central High School throughout the school year, but still the black students were subjected to verbal and physical assaults from a faction of white students. Melba Patillo, one of the nine, had acid thrown in her eyes, and Elizabeth Eckford was pushed down a flight of stairs. The three male students in the group were subjected to more conventional beatings. Minnijean Brown was suspended after dumping a bowl of chili over the head of a taunting white student. She was later suspended for the rest of the year after continuing to fight back. The other eight students consistently turned the other cheek. On May 27, 1958, Ernest Green, the only senior in the group, became the first black to graduate from Central High School.

Governor Faubus continued to fight the school board’s integration plan, and in September 1958 he ordered Little Rock’s three high schools closed rather than permit integration. Many Little Rock students lost a year of education as the legal fight over desegregation continued. In 1959, a federal court struck down Faubus’ school-closing law, and in August 1959 Little Rock’s white high schools opened a month early with black students in attendance. All grades in Little Rock public schools were finally integrated in 1972

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