Civil Rights Icons Return to Little Rock

Nine trailblazers observe 50th anniversary of Central High desegregation
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2007 3:49 PM CDT
Former President Bill Clinton, speaks with Ernest Green, right, one of the Little Rock Nine who helped desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, during a Little Rock Nine Foundation gala, Monday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Little Rock Nine returned to Central High today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school's integration. Once escorted by soldiers from the 101st Airborne, they arrived by limousine to a school that's now 52% black, the AP reports. "They didn't ask to be a part of history, but they certainly are now," said US Rep. Mike Ross.

"You can overcome adversity if you know you are doing the right thing," said Carlotta Walls Lanier, one of the nine. "I am grateful more than I can say that we had a president who was determined to enforce the order of the court," said Arkansas native Bill Clinton, who held a school door open as part of the ceremony.