Nine black children have finally been able to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But they had to be surrounded by more than 1,000 US paratroopers to protect them from segregationist whites.
On the orders of President Dwight D Eisenhower, the troops arrived last night in full battledress with fixed bayonets and rifles and took over from local police following three weeks of disturbances.
The children, six girls and three boys, had to walk through a cordon to get to the school building.
Outside about 1,500 whites demonstrated and at least seven were arrested.
Inside, students were warned by the commanding officer, General Walker, that anyone who disrupted the school day would be handed over to local police.
On Sept. 25, 1957, with 300 United States Army troops standing guard, nine black children were escorted to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, days after unruly white crowds had forced them to withdraw.
Soldiers Fly In: : 1,000 Go to Little Rock--9,936 in Guard Told to Report
When I first noticed the discrepancy in the number of troops, I had only seen the headlines from each source. The New York Times headline said 300 and the BBC said 1,000. When I looked at the detailed articles, the BBC article and headline matched. The same was not true of the New York Times. The Times headline said 300, the article never stated a number, and a sidebar to the article said 1,000 (the same as the BBC).
I do not know what could be the motivation for changing the number of troops. Nothing seems logical. Any thoughts on this one?