Central High School Museum Visitor Center

Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily

Price: Free

When it comes to Little Rock history, it's hard to imagine a place where the past lies heavier on the landscape than at Central High School. Here, on Sept. 23, 1957, nine black teen-agers braved howling mobs to integrate the school in one of the first true tests of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling that struck down the concept of "separate but equal." Before it was all over, President Eisenhower had sent in the 101st Airborne to protect the black students, and America had been changed forever. The story of the Little Rock Nine has since become legend, as has the school where they fought to make the lives of all Americans better. Now officially known as the Central High School National Historic Site — Central being the only operating high school within the boundaries of a National Historic Site — the school still bears witness to their courage and sacrifice, turning out world-class graduates of all colors who regularly go on to universities like Harvard, Yale and MIT. The Central High Museum Visitor Center features a gift shop, tours of the site, and exhibits on the 1957 Central High Crisis and its aftermath.

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