May 27, 1958 – Ernest Green
Ernest Green was one of a group of African American students who were the first to attend Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Green was the first of the students to graduate from Little Rock Central on May 27, 1958. The students in the midst of overwhelming racial hatred integrated the previously all white school following the 1954 passage of the US Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education which proclaimed segregation illegal. Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas refused entry of the students on the first day in 1957 and called in the the National Guard to prevent the them from attending Little Rock Central High School. The images of students being barred from school by troops echoed around the world. The Little Rock Nine became an integral part in the civil rights movement because of it’s national and international publicity. President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered in federal troops to escort the students to classes. President Bill Clinton presented each of the “Little Rock Nine” The Congressional Gold Medal in 1999.