Central High Museum and Visitor's Center

10.01 review
Sights and Museums, History Museum
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2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock, AR 72201
+1 501 374 1957
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SF Bay Area, Western US
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This is a great lesson in US History, from the Founding Fathers and the Constitution and Bill of Rights, all the way up to the Japanese Internment, Civil Rights movement, Women's Liberation, and the ADA act for disabilities.

It is a history of our ideals as Americans, and you would be surprised to learn the real facts that you may take for granted in your daily life today about the freedoms you enjoy and the equal protection of all citizens under the law.

In 1957, three years after the famous Supreme Court Ruling of Brown vs. Board of Education, which made the post civil war "states rights laws" of "Seperate but Equal" phrases unconstitutional according to the 14th Ammendment to the US Constitution, 9 African American teens decided to enter the all-white Central HIgh School in Little Rock.

They were harrased by angry white mobs who assembled with the encouragement of Governor Forbath of Arkansas, and the kids went home. NEws outlets capture this on TV and print, and it hit the national and international news, and President Dwight Eisenhower called in the Army's elite 101st Airborne to escort the 9 kids back to the school. And thus, one of the most pivotal moments in the Civil Rights movement started, right here in Little Rock. This was before Rosa Parks, Freedom Riders, the March in Selma, or Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a Dream" speech.

Using multi-media in easy to follow presentations, the history of the founding of our country, where the concept of "all men are created equal" meant only White land owners, to today where we think in much broader terms, thanks to many landmark pieces of legislation, like the 14th Ammendment, Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Bill, and others, as well as the courage of a few to fight the inequalities of their times.

This exhibit, which is free, is worth a 20 minute detour in your day to learn about real events in our histry as a nation, many of them in the recent past, that shaped who we are today.

They talk about many things, from reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, Suffragettes, Equal Rights Ammendment (which still hasn't passed), Native Americans, even about the farm Labor movement in addition to others I have already mentioned.

They don't mention the Chinese Exclusion Act's history (mostly in California), nor anything about the Gay Rights movement. Being in the Bible Belt of the South, perhaps they never will. We'll see.

If this exhibit, and if America truly believes in the 14th ammendment, which passed to reverse the Dred Scott case which ruled that blacks could not become citizens of the US, then this should protect perhaps one of the last minorities for equal protection, Gay Rights, too, just as it was used to advance the rights of Blacks in the reconstruction era.
The 14th ammendment, states in Section 1:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This Ammendment wasn't passed until 80 years after the Constitution was written. Anyone who says they are a strict Constitutionalist, must include the Bill of Rights (The ammendments to the Constitution) which have evolved over time as society has evolved.

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