Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Did You Know?
  • Little Rock Central High School is the only functioning high school to be located within the boundary of a national historic site.
  • When it was built in 1927, the American Institute of Architects named Central High School, "The Most Beautiful High School in America."
  • In 1999, the Little Rock Nine each received the Congressional Medal, our nation's highest civilian honor, for their efforts to desegregate Little Rock Central High School.

On September 23, 1957, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, became the frontline in the battle to integrate America's schools, as mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision of 1954. Nine African-American teenagers entered the school that day, despite the angry mob protesting outside. When Little Rock police removed "the Nine" later that day fearing for their safety, the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division was called in by President Eisenhower to assure their safety. The National Park Service commemorated this historic occasion with the inclusion of the high school as a National Historic Landmark in 1982.

Central High School continues to operate as a public high school and ranks as one of the nation's top public schools. The Park Service offers daily tours of the school building and also operates a nearby visitor center that interprets the historic civil rights events that landed the school in the national limelight.

What JNPA Does Here

JNPA is a proud educational partner of this historic site. The educational products we sell at the park visitor center result in critical financial support for the park. They also help remind visitors of the courage of the Little Rock Nine, as well as our nation's resolve to enforce African-American civil rights despite massive resistance in the years following the Supreme Court decision.