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Cotton Recognizes Little Rock Central High School as Part of National Park Initiative

September 9, 2016

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353 or Dylan Haney (501) 223-9081

Washington, D.C.- Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) recently recognized Little Rock Central High School in the Congressional Record as part of his initiative to highlight Arkansas's National Parks and Historic Sites in celebration of the National Park Service's 100th anniversary. You can find the full text of Senator Cotton's recognition in the Congressional Record below, or here.

In honor of the National Park Service's 100th birthday year, I want to recognize one of Arkansas' most recognized, and historic sites: Little Rock Central High School. As one of the most well-known high schools in the United States, Little Rock Central's story is an important one in the history of our nation.

Central played a pivotal role in the desegregation of public schools in the United States. On September 23, 1957, following the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, nine African-American students attempted to attend class at Little Rock Central High School. Now known as the "Little Rock Nine," these students were met with heavy public disapproval by an angry mob. President Eisenhower ultimately ordered federal troops into Little Rock to escort the students into the school.

These courageous nine students changed the course of history. They showed us that we should always pursue what is just, no matter how hard the journey is.

Former President and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1998 designating the school as a National Historic Site. To this day, Little Rock Central High School is the only functioning secondary school in the United States to have this distinction. Preserving Little Rock Central High School and presenting its history so that others might learn from it is an important mission-one that we should never abandon.

Named "America's Most Beautiful High School" By the American Institute of Architects, Little Rock Central High School certainly has a storied history, and when you find yourself in Little Rock be sure to take an afternoon to visit the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.