Little Rock 9 member celebrates 80th birthday with students

State News

Emery Moore, 14, gives a present to Elizabeth Eckford during her 80th birthday party outside Central High School where students sang Happy Birthday and LeRon McAdoo sang a rendition of Amazing Grace Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Little Rock, Ark. Central High became internationally known in 1957 during the desegregation crisis. Eckford and eight other Black students were barred from entering the school by Arkansas National Guard members who had been activated, despite a court-approved desegregation plan. (Stephen Swofford/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine Black students who first integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957, celebrated her 80th birthday at the school with the help of about a dozen students.

The students, who are members of the Civil Rights Memory Project, lined the sidewalk in front of the high school on Monday and held handwritten signs.

The number of students participating was kept small and they were told not to clap or make loud noises as they gathered outside the same school where an angry mob of protesters had met Eckford and eight other Black students in 1957.

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