Monday, January 23, 2012
Daisy Gatson Bates
After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that racial segregation was unconstitutional, Daisy Gatson Bates (above, with sign) started pressing the school board in Little Rock, Arkansas, to integrate the schools immediately. She started bringing African-American children to the all-White schools, accompanied by news photographers to record the children being refused admission. White people threatened her, rallied, brought legal action, and even perpetrated acts of violence to intimidate her and the children, but Bates kept pushing until President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the Arkansas National Guard and 1,000 paratroopers to ensure her safety and that of the children as they strode -- together -- into Central High School in Little Rock on September 25, 1957. The Little Rock School Board should have known better than to mess with an in-your-face woman!