Are you a Civil War buff? Then now is the perfect time for a mid-week stay at the Empress to attend a fascinating lecture in Little Rock that is sure to satisfy your hunger for history!
Arkansas in 1865 was preparing for the end of the Civil War. The Confederate citizens of the area dealt with hunger lawlessness and despair. At the same time, the state’s African American population was seeing the dawn of a new age of freedom. Join Mark Christ, community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and a leading authority on Civil War Arkansas and examine this fascinating moment in Arkansas History. This lecture takes place at the Old State House Museum on June 2, 2015, from 12:00-1:00 pm. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy during this event, and soft drinks and water will be provided.
If you are interested in the history of the African American in Arkansas, this would be a perfect event to combine with a visit to the historic Central High School, home of the Little Rock Nine. The Little Rock Nine were a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, on May 17, 1954. Tied to the 14th Amendment, the decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation. After the decision, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attempted to register black students in previously all-white schools in cities throughout the South. In Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board agreed to comply with the high court’s ruling. Virgil Blossom, the Superintendent of Schools, submitted a plan of gradual integration to the school board on May 24, 1955, which the board unanimously approved. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year, which would begin in September 1957.
If you enjoy your vacation with a bit of education, The Empress is the perfect home base for a tour around Arkansas’s historic capitol city, with a fascinating history all it’s own. Join us today!!!