It has been 50 years since federal troops escorted nine black teenagers past an angry white mob and forcibly integrated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.
Following is a timeline of the crisis from the National Park Service Web site.
September 1927 -- Little Rock Senior (renamed Central in 1953) High School opens its doors for the first time. The school cost more than $1.5 million to construct.
September 1929 -- Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, the high school for African American students, opens. The school cost $400,000 of which the Rosenwald Foundation donated $67,500 and $30,000 came from the Rockefeller General Education Fund.
May 17, 1954 -- The United States Supreme Court rules racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Five days later, the Little Rock School Board issues a policy statement saying it will comply with the Supreme Court's decision. In May 1955, The Supreme Court further defines the standard of implementation for integration as being "with all deliberate speed," in Brown II and charges the federal courts with establishing guidelines for compliance.
August 23, 1954 -- Under the direction of Pine Bluff attorney Wiley Branton, chairman of the state's NAACP Legal Redress Committee, the NAACP petitions the Little Rock School Board for immediate integration.
May 24, 1955 -- The Little Rock School Board adopts the Blossom Plan of gradual integration beginning with the high school level (starting in September 1957) and the lower grades during the next six years.
February 8, 1956 -- Federal Judge John E. Miller dismisses the NAACP suit (Aaron v. Cooper), declaring that the Little Rock School Board has acted in "utmost good faith" in setting up its plan of gradual integration. In April, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Miller's dismissal. The federal district court retained jurisdiction over the case, however, making the School Board's implementation of the Blossom Plan a court mandate.
August 27, 1957 -- The segregationist Mother's League of Central High School holds its first public meeting. They file a motion seeking a temporary injunction against school integration. Two days later, Pulaski Chancellor Murray Reed grants the injunction on the grounds that integration could lead to violence. Federal Judge Ronald Davies nullifies the injunction and orders the School Board to proceed with its desegregation plan.
September 2, 1957 (Labor Day) -- Governor Orval Faubus orders the Arkansas National Guard to prohibit African American students from entering Central High School and announces his plans in a televised speech.
September 3, 1957 -- The Mother's League holds a "sunrise service" at Central High attended by members of the Citizen's Council, parents and students. On September 20, Federal Judge Ronald Davies rules that Faubus has not used the troops to preserve law and order and orders them removed. Faubus removes the Guardsmen and the Little Rock Police Department moves in.
September 23, 1957 -- An angry mob of over 1,000 whites gathers in front of Central High School, while nine African American students are escorted inside. The Little Rock police remove the nine children for their safety. President Eisenhower calls the rioting "disgraceful" and ordered federal troops into Little Rock.