Little Rock Central High School

sights / Historic

Lonely Planet review

Little Rock's most riveting attraction is the site of the 1957 desegregation crisis that changed the country forever. It was here that a group of African American students known as the Little Rock Nine were first denied entry inside the then all-white high school (despite a 1954 Supreme Court ruling forcing the integration of public schools) then escorted by the 1200-man 101st Airborne Battle Group, a pivotal moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. Today it's both a National Historic Site and a working high school – the most beautiful one you will ever see. There's a spiffy new visitor center airing all the dirty laundry and putting the crisis into perspective alongside the greater Civil Rights Movement. The guides are fantastic, including Spirit Trickey, the daughter of one of the nine.