LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This month marks the 65th anniversary of when the Little Rock nine tried, and made their way into Central High School.
Central High School is a place where the walls are filled with history.
Park Guide at Little Rock Central High School National Historical Site, Rebecca Hoffman, said, “65 years ago today in 1957, the Little Rock Crisis would have begun on today’s date”.
September 4, 1957, is when 10 African American children tried to integrate Central High School.
“Mrs.’s Daisy Bates, who was the president of the Arkansas state conference NAACP, had told the families, hey send the children to my house and we are going to have ministers walk them to school to make sure nothing bad happens,” said Hoffman.
Although, two families of the ten children did not receive that call. One of them being Elizabeth Eckford.
“She’s going to get up for school that morning, ride the city bus and she will make three attempts to get inside the school,” said Hoffman.
Elizabeth Eckford was all alone.
“She makes her third attempt, right over here where we are standing, and then that’s when a guardsmen finally tells her, you are not allowed inside the school because of the color of your skin,” stated Hoffman.
Hoffman said Elizabeth Eckford was pushed back into the street, where she was tormented by the crowd.
“At that point, all of these people, these protestors, there was about 200, including students, surround her, start screaming at her, threatening her with racial epitaphs,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman has been a park guide for two years and knows Mrs. Eckford personally.
She said Mrs. Eckford still struggles with the PTSD from the events of that day.
“If anyone has the chance to hear her speak, you will be asked not to cheer for her or applaud her because those are her triggers. Loud noises and large groups of people because of September 4th,” stated Hoffman.