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Eisenhower Orders Federal Troops to Little Rock - History

Eisenhower Orders Federal Troops to Little Rock - History

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Gov[ernor] Emmett D. Boyle of Nevada signing resolution for ratification of Nineteenth Amendment to Constitution of U.S. - Mrs. Sadie D. Hurst who presented the resolution, Speaker of the Assembly D.J. Fitzgerald and group of Suffrage Women, Feb. 7, 1920, Carson City, Nevada

On September 24, 1957 President Eisenhower ordered Federal Troops to Little Rock Arkansas to enforce a Supreme Court decision to integrate the schools. The army troops escorted nine African American students into school.

Following the Supreme Court decision of 1954 of Brown vs. the Board of Education, the Federal Court of Appeals approved, in 1957, an integration plan prepared by the Little Rock school board. The school board announced that integration would begin in September at Central High School.

On September 2nd, Arkansas Governor Orval Fabus sent the National Guard to surround the school to keep out the black students. The school board turned to a local federal judge, claiming that the local guard troops prevented their compliance with the federal desegregation plan. The federal government then petitioned the courts to have the governor desist. The court so ordered, and the governor withdrew the troops.

On September 23rd, the first black students arrived but were barred from the school by an angry mob. The next day, President Eisenhower ordered federal troops to Little Rock to ensure the integration of Central High School. The school was integrated, but for the next year, the City closed all the schools in Little Rock. For one year no student was educated in the cities schools. For one year known as the lost year, no students in Little Rock were educated in Public Schools. After a year the desegregated schools reopened.

Executive Order 10730: Desegregation of Central High School (1957)

Citation: Executive Order 10730, September 23, 1957 (Little Rock Crisis) General Records of the United States Government Record Group 11 National Archives.

Draft for Little Rock speech (third draft), September 24, 1957 Papers of Dwight Eisenhower, Ann Whitman File, Speech Series, Box 22, Folder: Integration-Little Rock, Ark. Eisenhower Library National Archives and Records Administration.
How to use citation info.
(on Archives.gov)

This executive order of September 23, 1957, signed by President Dwight Eisenhower, sent Federal troops to maintain order and peace while the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, AR, took place.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education that segregated schools were "inherently unequal" and ordered that U.S. public schools be desegregated "with all deliberate speed." Within a week of the 1954 decision, Arkansas was one of two Southern states to announce it would begin immediately to take steps to comply with the Brown decision. Arkansas's law school had been integrated since 1949, and seven of its eight state universities had desegregated. Blacks had been appointed to state boards and elected to local offices. It had already desegregated its public buses as well as its zoo, library, and parks system. In the summer of 1957, the city of Little Rock made plans to desegregate its public schools. Little Rock’s school board had voted unanimously for a plan that started with the desegregation of the high school in 1957, followed by junior high schools the next year and elementary schools following. In September 1957, nine African American students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock. The ensuing struggle between segregationists and integrationists, the Governor of the State of Arkansas and the Federal Government, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus became known as the "Little Rock Crisis."

On September 2, the night before school was to start, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the state's National Guard to surround Little Rock Central High School and prevent any black students from entering. The Governor explained that his action was taken to protect citizens and property from possible violence by protesters he claimed were headed in caravans toward Little Rock. President Eisenhower, who was vacationing in Newport, RI, arranged to meet Governor Faubus to discuss the tense situation. In their brief meeting in Newport, Eisenhower thought Faubus had agreed to enroll the African American students, so he told Faubus that his National Guard troops could stay at Central High and enforce order. However, once back in Little Rock, Governor Faubus withdrew the National Guard.

A few days later, when nine African American students slipped into the school to enroll, a full-scale riot erupted. The situation was quickly out of control, as Governor Faubus failed to stop the violence. Finally, Congressman Brooks Hays and Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann asked the Federal Government for help, first in the form of U.S. marshals. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, was presented with a difficult problem. He was required to uphold the Constitution and the laws, but he also wanted to avoid a bloody confrontation in Arkansas. With Executive Order 10730, the President placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent 1,000 U.S. Army paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division to assist them in restoring order in Little Rock.

For more information related to the Little Rock Crisis, see the collection of documents at the Eisenhower Presidential Library.

Why did President Eisenhower write this executive order?

Woodrow Wilson Mann, the mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students.

Beside above, why did the US government order desegregation of schools? The 1955 decision ordered that public schools be desegregated with all deliberate speed. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was presented with a difficult problem. He wanted to uphold the Constitution and the laws, but also avoid a possible bloody confrontation in Arkansas, where emotions ran high.

Correspondingly, how did President Eisenhower respond to the Little Rock crisis?

When Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School to keep the nine students from entering the school, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to insure the safety of the "Little Rock Nine" and that the rulings of the Supreme Court were upheld.

When Governor Faubus stopped the integration of schools President Eisenhower did what?

Ernest Green In September 1958, one year after Central High was integrated, Governor Faubus closed all of Little Rock's high schools for the entire year, pending a public vote, to prevent African American attendance. Little Rock citizens voted 19,470 to 7,561 against integration and the schools remained closed.

Why did Eisenhower send troops to Little Rock?

He immediately ordered the US Army to send troops to Little Rock to protect and escort them for the full school year. Resistance to Black demands led by "law and order" advocates whose real purpose was to oppose integration. Federal Troops sent by President Eisenhower to protect the Little Rock Nine on 25 September.

Secondly, how did Eisenhower respond to Little Rock crisis? When he defied the court order, President Dwight Eisenhower dispatched nearly 1,000 paratroopers and federalized the 10,000 man Arkansas National Guard to insure the school would be open to the nine students. On September 24, 1957, President Eisenhower addressed the nation to explain his actions.

Furthermore, what did Eisenhower do about Little Rock Nine?

When Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School to keep the nine students from entering the school, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to insure the safety of the "Little Rock Nine" and that the rulings of the Supreme Court were upheld.

Who was pushing Little Rock to desegregate schools and why?

On September 4, 1957, the first day of classes at Central High, Governor Orval Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard to block the black students' entry into the high school. Later that month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in federal troops to escort the Little Rock Nine into the school.

Eisenhower Orders Federal Troops to Little Rock - History

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Washington, Sept. 24--President Eisenhower sent Federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., today to open the way for the admission of nine Negro pupils to Central High School.

Earlier, the President federalized the Arkansas National Guard and authorized calling the Guard and regular Federal forces to remove obstructions to justice in Little Rock school integration.

His history-making action was based on a formal finding that his "cease and desist" proclamation, issued last night, had not been obeyed. Mobs of pro-segregationists still gathered in the vicinity of Central High School this morning.

Tonight, from the White House, President Eisenhower told the nation in a speech for radio and television that he had acted to prevent "mob rule" and "anarchy."

The President&aposs decision to send troops to Little Rock was reached at his vacation headquarters in Newport, R.I. It was one of historic importance politically, socially, constitutionally. For the first time since the Reconstruction days that followed the Civil War, the Federal Government was using its ultimate power to compel equal treatment of the Negro in the South.

He said violent defiance of Federal Court orders in Little Rock had done grave harm to "the prestige and influence, and indeed to the safety, of our nation and the world." He called on the people of Arkansas and the South to "preserve and respect the law even when they disagree with it."

Action quickly followed the President&aposs orders. During the day and night 1,000 members of the 101st Airborne Division were flown to Little Rock. Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of the Defense, ordered into Federal service all 10,000 members of the Arkansas National Guard.

Today&aposs events were the climax of three weeks of skirmishing between the Federal Government and Gov. Orval E. Faubus of Arkansas. It was three weeks ago this morning that the Governor first ordered National Guard troops to Central High School to preserve order. The nine Negro students were prevented from entering the school.

The Guardsmen were gone yesterday, withdrawn by Governor Faubus as the result of a Federal Court order. But a shrieking mob compelled the nine children to withdraw from the school.

President Eisenhower yesterday cleared the way for full use of his powers with a proclamation commanding the mob in Little Rock to "disperse."

At 12:22 P.M. today in Newport the President signed a second proclamation. It said first that yesterday&aposs command had "not been obeyed and willful obstruction of said court orders exists and threatens to continue."

The proclamation then directed Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense, to take all necessary steps to enforce the court orders for admission of the Negro children, including the call of any or all Arkansas Guardsmen under Federal command and the use of the armed forces of the United States.

Later in the afternoon the President flew from Newport to Washington, arriving at the National Airport at 4:50 o&aposclock.

He began his broadcast speech with this explanation of the flight:

"I could have spoken from Rhode Island, but I felt that in speaking from the house of Lincoln, of Jackson and of Wilson, my words would more clearly convey both the sadness I feel in the action I was compelled to take and the firmness with which I intend to pursue this course. * * *"

It was a firm address, with some language unusually strong for President Eisenhower.

President Traces Dispute

"Under the leadership of demagogic extremists," the President said, "disorderly mobs have deliberately prevented the carrying out of proper orders from a Federal court. Local authorities have not eliminated that violent opposition."

The President traced the course of the integration dispute in Little Rock. He noted especially that the Federal Court there had rejected what he called an "abrupt change" in segregated schooling and had adopted a "gradual" plan.

"Proper and sensible observance of the law," the President said, "then demanded the respectful obedience which the nation has a right to expect from all the people. This, unfortunately, has not been the case at Little Rock.

"Certain misguided persons, many of them imported into Little Rock by agitators, have insisted upon defying the law and have sought to bring it into disrepute. The orders of the court have thus been frustrated."

The reference to "imported" members of the mob was seen as a sign that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had information, obtained through agents in Little Rock, on the organization of yesterday&aposs violence.

The President tried to make it plain that he had not sought the use of Federal power in Little Rock, nor welcomed it. Rather he suggested that as Chief Executive he had no choice.

"The President&aposs responsibility is inescapable," he said at one point. At another he said that when the decrees of a Federal court were obstructed, "the law and the national interest demanded that the President take action."

"The very basis of our individual rights and freedoms," he said, "is the certainty that the President and the Executive Branch of Government will support and insure the carrying out of the decisions of the Federal Courts, even, when necessary with all the means at the President&aposs command.

"Unless the President did so, anarchy would result.

"There would be no security for any except that which each one of us could provide for himself.

"The interest of the nation in the proper fulfillment of the law&aposs requirements cannot yield to opposition and demonstrations by some few persons.

"Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of the courts."

The President appeared fit and vigorous when he stepped into his White House office tonight to face a battery of news and television cameras.

His face showed the ruddiness of the outdoors exercise he has been enjoying on the golf links.

The President, who wore a gray single-breasted suit with blue shirt and tie, spoke calmly and his voice, after setting a steady deliberate pace, rose only occasionally as he sought emphasis for certain words and phrases.

It rose on the word "firmness" when he spoke of his course in this grave situation, and "mob" when he referred to the perpetrators of the Little Rock violence, and "agitators" he said were brought in from the outside.

At either side on the wall on either side of him as he spoke hung portraits of the four leaders whom the President had stated he regards as the greatest American heroes--Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.

But in his thirteen-minute address tonight, General Eisenhower mentioned only Lincoln.

Nine black students escorted under armed guard into all-white school

Under escort from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, nine black students enter the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas on this day in 1957. Three weeks earlier, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus had surrounded the school with National Guard troops to prevent its federal court-ordered racial integration. After a tense standoff, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalised the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1,000 army paratroopers to Little Rock to enforce the court order.

On 17 May 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in educational facilities was unconstitutional. Five days later, the Little Rock School Board issued a statement saying it would comply with the decision when the Supreme Court outlined the method and time frame in which desegregation should be implemented. Arkansas was at the time among the more progressive Southern states in regard to racial issues. The University of Arkansas School of Law was integrated in 1949, and the Little Rock Public Library in 1951. Even before the Supreme Court ordered integration to proceed "with all deliberate speed," the Little Rock School Board in 1955 unanimously adopted a plan of integration to begin in 1957 at the high school level.

The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) filed suit, arguing the plan was too gradual, but a federal judge dismissed the suit, saying that the school board was acting in "utmost good faith." Meanwhile, Little Rock's public buses were desegregated. By 1957, seven out of Arkansas' eight state universities were integrated. In the spring of 1957, there were 517 black students who lived in the Central High School district. Eighty expressed an interest in attending Central in the fall, and they were interviewed by the Little Rock School Board, which narrowed down the number of candidates to 17. Eight of those students later decided to remain at all-black Horace Mann High School, leaving the "Little Rock Nine" to forge their way into Little Rock's premier high school.

In August 1957, the newly formed Mother's League of Central High School won a temporary injunction from the county chancellor to block integration of the school, charging that it "could lead to violence." Federal District Judge Ronald Davies nullified the injunction on 30 August. On 2 September, Governor Orval Faubus – a staunch segregationist – called out the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School and prevent integration, ostensibly to prevent the bloodshed he claimed desegregation would cause. The next day, Judge Davies ordered integrated classes to begin on 4 September. That morning, 100 armed National Guard troops encircled Central High School.

A mob of 400 white civilians gathered and turned ugly when the black students began to arrive, shouting racial epithets and threatening the teenagers with violence. The National Guard troops refused to let the black students pass and used their clubs to control the crowd. One of the nine, 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, was surrounded by the mob, which threatened to lynch her. She was finally led to safety by a sympathetic white woman. Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann condemned Faubus' decision to call out the National Guard, but the governor defended his action, reiterating that he did so to prevent violence. The governor also stated that integration would occur in Little Rock when and if a majority of people chose to support it.

Faubus' defiance of Judge Davies' court order was the first major test of Brown v Board of Education and the biggest challenge of the federal government's authority over the states since the Reconstruction Era. The standoff continued, and on 20 September Judge Davies ruled that Faubus had used the troops to prevent integration, not to preserve law and order as he claimed. Faubus had no choice but to withdraw the National Guard troops. Authority over the explosive situation was put in the hands of the Little Rock Police Department. On 23 September, as a mob of 1,000 whites milled around outside Central High School, the nine black students managed to gain access to a side door.

However, the mob became unruly when it learned the black students were inside, and the police evacuated them out of fear for their safety. That evening, President Eisenhower issued a special proclamation calling for opponents of the federal court order to "cease and desist." On 24 September, Little Rock's mayor sent a telegram to the president asking him to send troops to maintain order and complete the integration process. Eisenhower immediately federalised the Arkansas National Guard and approved the deployment of U.S. troops to Little Rock. That evening, from the White House, the president delivered a nationally televised address in which he explained that he had taken the action to defend the rule of law and prevent "mob rule" and "anarchy." On 25 September, the Little Rock Nine entered the school under heavily armed guard.

Troops remained at Central High School throughout the school year, but still the black students were subjected to verbal and physical assaults from a faction of white students. Melba Patillo, one of the nine, had acid thrown in her eyes, and Elizabeth Eckford was pushed down a flight of stairs. The three male students in the group were subjected to more conventional beatings. Minnijean Brown was suspended after dumping a bowl of chili over the head of a taunting white student. She was later suspended for the rest of the year after continuing to fight back. The other eight students consistently turned the other cheek. On 27 May 1958, Ernest Green, the only senior in the group, became the first black to graduate from Central High School.

Governor Faubus continued to fight the school board's integration plan, and in September 1958 he ordered Little Rock's three high schools closed rather than permit integration. Many Little Rock students lost a year of education as the legal fight over desegregation continued. In 1959, a federal court struck down Faubus' school-closing law, and in August 1959 Little Rock's white high schools opened a month early with black students in attendance. All grades in Little Rock public schools were finally integrated in 1972.

Selma, Montgomery civil rights march

On March 7, 1965, which became known as "Bloody Sunday," peaceful protesters led by John Lewis were beaten by local police as they tried to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led more than 3,000 marchers across the same bridge two weeks later and continued on a 54-mile trek to Montgomery, the state's capital, under the watchful protection of the recently federalized Alabama National Guard. The five-day march, one of the seminal moments in civil rights history, led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights marchers cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965. (AP)

Civil Rights: The Little Rock School Integration Crisis

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education that segregated schools are "inherently unequal." In September 1957, as a result of that ruling, nine African-American students enrolled at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ensuing struggle between segregationists and integrationists, the State of Arkansas and the federal government, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, has become known in modern American history as the "Little Rock Crisis." The crisis gained world-wide attention. When Governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround Central High School to keep the nine students from entering the school, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock to insure the safety of the "Little Rock Nine" and that the rulings of the Supreme Court were upheld. The manuscript holdings of the Eisenhower Presidential Library contain a large amount of documentation on this historic test of the Brown vs. Topeka ruling and school integration.

Press release, President Eisenhower's telegram to Governor Faubus, September 5, 1957 [Kevin McCann Collection of Press and Radio Conferences and Press Releases, Box 20, September 1957 NAID #12237650]

Press release, statements by President Eisenhower and Governor Faubus from Newport, Rhode Island, September 14, 1957 [Kevin McCann Collection of Press and Radio Conferences and Press Releases, Box 20, September 1957 NAID #17366732]

Telegram, Woodrow Wilson Mann to President Eisenhower, September 24, 1957 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 615, OF 142-A-5-A (2) NAID #17366836]

Letter, President Eisenhower to General Alfred Gruenther, September 24, 1957 [DDE's Papers as President, Administration Series, Box 16, Alfred M. Gruenther 1956-57 (2) NAID #17368373]

Press release, containing speech on radio and television by President Eisenhower, September 24, 1957[Kevin McCann Collection of Press and Radio Conferences and Press Releases, Box 20, September 1957 NAID #17366765]

Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Situation in Little Rock, September 24, 1957 [Audio recording: 1/4 in. open reel Presidential Series: Press Conferences, Impromptu Remarks, and Radio Addresses EL-D16-89]

Draft of above speech on Little Rock, undated [DDE’s Papers as President, Speech Series, Box 22, Integration-Little Rock Ark 9/24/1957 NAID #12237735]

Telephone calls, September 24, 1957 [DDE's Papers as President, DDE Diary Series, Box 27, Sept. 1957 Telephone Calls NAID #17368366]

Telephone calls, September 25, 1957 [DDE's Papers as President, DDE Diary Series, Box 27, Sept. 1957 Telephone Calls NAID #17368370]

Telegram, Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell to President Eisenhower, September 26, 1957 [DDE's Papers as President, Administration Series, Box 23, Little Rock Arkansas (2) NAID #17366867]

Letter, President Eisenhower to Senator Russell, September 27, 1957 [DDE's Papers as President, Administration Series, Box 23, Little Rock Ark (2) NAID #17366869]

Letter, President Eisenhower to Senator Stennis, October 7, 1957 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 615, OF 142-A-5-A (7) NAID #17366882]

Situation Report No. 176, by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, December 17, 1957 [Office of the Staff Secretary, Subject Series, Alphabetical Subseries, Box 17, Little Rock Vol. I—Reports (7) NAID #17367068]

Situation Report No. 211, February 6, 1958 [Office of the Staff Secretary, Subject Series, Alphabetical Subseries, Box 17, Little Rock Vol. I—Reports (8) NAID #17367081]

Situation Report No. 217, February 14, 1958 [Office of the Staff Secretary, Subject Series, Alphabetical Subseries, Box 17, Little Rock Vol. I—Reports (8) NAID #17367504]

Situation Report No. 218, February 17, 1958 [Office of the Staff Secretary, Subject Series, Alphabetical Subseries, Box 17, Little Rock Vol. I—Reports (8) NAID #17367509]

Situation Report No. 226, February 27, 1958 [Office of the Staff Secretary, Subject Series, Alphabetical Subseries, Box 17, Little Rock Vol. I—Reports (8) NAID #17367516]

Situation Report No. 233, March 10, 1958 [Office of the Staff Secretary, Subject Series, Alphabetical Subseries, Box 17, Little Rock Vol. I—Reports (8) NAID #17367521]

Letter, Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower, May 13, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 614, OF 142-A (6) NAID #17368592]

Letter, President Eisenhower to Jackie Robinson, June 4, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 614, OF 142-A (6) NAID #17368593]

Secondary Sources:

The Eisenhower Administration and Black Civil Rights by Robert F. Burk, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1984.

A Moderate Among Extremists: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the School Desegregation Crisis by James C. Duram, Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981.

The White House Years: Waging Peace, 1956-1961 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Heinemann: London, 1966.

Crisis at Central High by Elizabeth Huckaby, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.

Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976.

Black Man in the White House by E. Frederic Morrow, New York: Coward-McCann, 1963.

Dwight Eisenhower on Education

African-American children in Topeka, Kansas had been denied access to all-white schools due to rules allowing for separate but equal facilities. The idea of separate but equal was given legal standing with the 1896 Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. This doctrine required that any separate facilities had to be of equal quality. However, the plaintiffs in this case argued that segregation was inherently unequal. The Brown decision overturned the separate but equal doctrine established by the Plessy decision. Source: AmericanHistory.About.com on Eisenhower Administration , May 27, 2016

$1.3B for four-year school construction program

At once the bill ran into crossfire. Against federal participation in school construction, in that year of economy, stood the Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion. The states, they insisted, could do the job without any help from Washington. Federal aid, they said, would be the thin end of the wedge for federal domination and a contributor to the unconscionable size of the federal budget and federal taxes. Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.139 , Jan 1, 1965

National Defense Education Bill: focus on science & math

  1. To strengthen American education, particularly in science, mathematics, and foreign languages, the Congress passed the administration's National Defense Education Bill.
  2. Despite entrenched opposition on Capitol Hill, we recommended and obtained new legislation to reduce interservice rivalries and to strengthen the control of the President and the Secretary of Defense over strategic planning and operations.
  3. Obtaining needed laws for intensifying research and development for both peaceful and military purposes, we established a new space agency under civilian authority, and orbited a succession of satellites.

Ordered troops to enforce integration of Little Rock schools

On Sep. 23, from all over the city, a mob of more than 1,000 angry and determined whites, stirred up by recent events and Gov. Faubus, converged on Central High School, determined to keep out the Negro students who were due to enter. For 3 hours the mob rioted outside, until the police removed the Negro children from the school.

There was only one justification for the use of troops: to uphold the law. Though Faubus denied it, I, as President, now had that justification and the clear obligation to act. I issued the required proclamation. "I will use the full power of the US including whatever force may be necessary to prevent any obstruction of the law and to carry out the orders of the Federal Court." Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.167-169 , Jan 1, 1965

Antarctica Treaty: free and cooperative scientific research

The United States is always ready to participate with the Soviet Union in serious discussion of these or any other subjects that may lead to peace with justice. Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1960 State of the Union message , Jan 7, 1960

Establish recognizable standards for teachers and teaching

We must have teachers of competence. To obtain and hold them we need standards. We need a National Goal. Once established I am certain that public opinion would compel steady progress toward its accomplishment.

Such studies would be helpful, I believe, to government at all levels and to all individuals. The goals so established could help us see our current needs in perspective. They will spur progress. Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1959 State of the Union message , Jan 7, 1959

Trump vows to send military to cities if governors don't ɽominate' protesters

As currently worded, the Insurrection Act allows the president to call up the active military or federalize the National Guard under three circumstances:

  • At the request of a state. That's how it was most recently used, when Pete Wilson, then the governor of California, asked for federal help in 1992 to control violent protests after police officers were acquitted in the attack on Rodney King.
  • To enforce federal law. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan ordered the Defense Department to provide military units to help suppress violence at a federal prison in Atlanta. The disturbance was over before the troops arrived.
  • To protect civil rights. This provision authorizes the president to use the military to suppress "any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy" if local law enforcement is unable to provide sufficient protection. It doesn't require the request — or even the permission — of the state. President Dwight D. Eisenhower used the power to send elements of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Arkansas, and to federalize the entire state National Guard to enforce court-ordered school desegregation. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson invoked the same authority to enforce other desegregation orders in Mississippi and Alabama.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Congress changed the law, allowing the president to use the provision in cases of domestic violence when public order is disrupted by natural disaster, epidemic or terrorist attack without a request from a state's governor. But Congress revoked that specific authority a year later in the face of widespread opposition from the states.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

So what about now? Can Trump send federal troops to a state that doesn't ask for them or even opposes them? The current law doesn't explicitly allow it. But it doesn't clearly forbid it, either, and history is full of examples of presidents' broadly interpreting this law or its forerunners.

Even so, an administration official said Tuesday that unless conditions substantially deteriorate, there are no current plans to send federal troops to a state against a governor’s wishes.

CORRECTION (June 2, 2020, 2:18 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated that police officers were acquitted in the death of Rodney King. King survived the beating and died in 2012.

Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent who covers the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, based in Washington.


People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.

Watch the video: Eisenhower Address on Little Rock Integration Problem (July 2022).


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