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Some political details to add to the timeline above could include the fact that Governor Orval Faubus was considered a moderate, but he had a tough re-election challenge from a segregationist that year, so his policy preventing the Little Rock Nine from attending Central High School was mostly a ploy to get re-elected. After the first year during which federal troops escorted the students to class, Faubus shut down all of Little Rock's schools, and was overwhelmingly re-elected.
President Eisenhower, who was the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II of a still segregated army, was no fan of integrating the South. However, he enforced the court ruling he disagreed with, putting the Constitution and his job as President above any personal feelings he may have had.
For a detailed discussion of the events of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, please follow the link below.
The general sequence of events is this. First, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas announced that there was a danger of riots and sent in the National Guard. A few weeks later, he removed the Guard and the Little Rock Nine were no longer protected. This led a great deal of violence. In response to this violence, President Eisenhower sent troops from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to continue to protect the Nine so that the desegregation order could be enforced. The troops stayed until the end of the school year.
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