1957 Little Rock Crisis 60th Anniversary #3

Aug 10, 2017

Little Rock’s commemoration of the 1957 school crisis has its own distinct history. In the decades immediately after, civic leaders looked to ignore events altogether, viewing them as an embarrassment and a detriment to the city’s image and economy. In the 1970s and 1980s, tentative commemorations emerged that focused on pointing out how far desegregation had progressed rather than addressing the events of the past. The fortieth anniversary, coinciding with Bill Clinton’s presidency, proved a turning point, with the city finally proving willing to own the school crisis as part of its history. A Central High Museum and Visitors Center was established. On the fiftieth anniversary, a new National Parks Service Visitor Center was dedicated and statues of the Little Rock Nine were placed on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.