1. Big Decisions
2. First Day
3. Inside-Briefly
4. Integration Is the Law
5. Fighting to Learn
6. Becoming a Warrior
7. Endings and
8. Reunion
9. Interview

Melba Pattillo Home

Integration Is the Law

In 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower is president. He had been the top U.S. general in World War II. Dwight Eisenhower expects orders to be obeyed.

President Eisenhower warns Governor Faubus that he'll send U.S. troops to Little Rock. Integration is the law — and it will be enforced.

The day after the mob takes over Central High, the president orders soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock. Melba also gets a personal message from the president. He says that she and the other black students will be protected at Central High.

On September 25, 1957, with soldiers all around her, Melba climbs the front steps of Central High School and walks through the main doors. There are more troops in the halls. She meets Danny, a soldier who will walk with her from class to class.

Melba Pattillo will finally start her junior year of high school.