Executive Order 10730 (Desegregation of Central High)

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Executive Order 10730 was issued by President Dwight Eisenhower on September 24, 1957, dispatching federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to prevent local, angry mobs from interfering with the integration of Central High School. This was the first time since Reconstruction that federal troops were used to maintain law and order in the South.

In 1954, the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education ruled that segregated schools were inherently unequal and ordered that U. S. public schools be desegregated with all deliberate speed. Arkansas was one of the first states to announce its compliance with the Brown decision. It had already desegregated public buses, libraries, and parks and, in the summer of 1957, made plans to desegregate its public schools, beginning with the high schools.

In September, nine African American students enrolled in Central High School in Little Rock. The night before school was to start, Governor Orval Faubus called out the states National Guard to surround the high school to prevent any black student from entering in the name of protecting citizens from violence by protestors. President Eisenhower quickly arranged a meeting with Governor Faubus to discuss the situation. He told Faubus that his National Guard troops could stay at Central High to enforce order. However, once Faubus returned to Little Rock he withdrew the National Guard. When the nine African American students tried to enter the school, a full-scale riot broke out. Finally the mayor of Little Rock asked the federal government for help. President Eisenhower issued Executive Order 10730, placing the Arkansas National Guard under federal control and sending a thousand paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army to help them restore order in Little Rock.

 

 Executive Order 10730

 

PROVIDING ASSISTANCE FOR THE REMOVAL OF AN obstruction of justice WITHIN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS

WHEREAS on September 23, 1957, I issued Proclamation No.3204 reading in part as follows:

"WHEREAS certain persons in the state of Arkansas, individually and in unlawful assemblages, combinations, and conspiracies, have wifully obstructed the enforcement of orders of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas with respect to mat ters relating to enrollment and attendance at public schools, particularly at Central High School, located in Little Rock School District, Little Rock, Arkansas; and

"WHEREAS such wilful obstruction of d justice hinders the execution of the laws of that State and of the United States, and makes it impracticable to enforce such laws by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings; and

"WHEREAS such obstruction of justice constitutes a denial of the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution of the United States and impedes the course of justice under those laws:

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, President of the United States, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the United States, including Chapter 15 of Title 10 of the United States Code, particularly sections 332, 333 and 334 thereof, do command all persons engaged in such obstruction of justice to cease and desist therefrom, and to disperse forthwith;" and

WHEREAS the command contained in that Proclamation has not been obeyed and wilful obstruction of enforcement of said court orders still exists and threatens to continue:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the United States, including Chapter 15 of Title 10, particularly sections 332, 333 and 334 thereof, and section 301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, It is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of Defense to order into the active military service of the United States as he may deem appropriate to carry out the purposes of this Order, any or all of the units of the National Guard of the United States and of the Air National Guard of the United States within the State of Arkansas to serve in the active military service of the United States for an indefinite period and until relieved by appropriate orders.

SEC. 2. The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to take all appropriate steps to enforce any orders of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas for the removal of obstruction of justice in the State of Arkansas with respect to matters relating to enrollment and attendance at public schools in the Little Rock School District, Little Rock, Arkansas. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to use the units, and members thereof, ordered into the active military service of the United States pursuant to Section 1 of this Order.

SEC. 3. In furtherance of the enforcement of the aforementioned orders of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to use such of the armed forces of the United States as he may deem necessary.

SEC. 4. The Secretary of Defense is authorized to delegate to the Secretary of the Army or the Secretary of the Air Force, or both, any of the authority conferred upon him by this Order.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 24, 1957.

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