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‘No matter what the cost’

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ASHMORE: His Gazette editorials won two Pulitzers.
  • ASHMORE: His Gazette editorials won two Pulitzers.

Here are excerpts from the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials written by the Arkansas Gazette's executive editor, Harry S. Ashmore:

Sept. 4, 1957 — “Little Rock arose yesterday to gaze upon the incredible spectacle of an empty high school surrounded by National Guard troops called out by Governor Faubus to protect life and property against a mob that never materialized. Mr. Faubus says he based this extraordinary action on reports of impending violence. Dozens of local reporters and national correspondents worked through the day yesterday without verifying the few facts the governor offered to explain why his appraisal was so different from that of local officials — who have asked for no such action. … Thus the issue is no longer segregation vs. integration. The question has now become the supremacy of the government of the United States in all matters of law. And clearly the federal government cannot let this issue remain unsolved, no matter what the cost to this community.”

Sept. 25 — “This is a tragic day in the history of the republic — and Little Rock, Arkansas, is the scene of the tragedy. In one sense, we rolled back our history to the Reconstruction era when federal troops moved into position at Central High to uphold the law and preserve the peace. … And so the reckless course the governor embarked upon three weeks ago has raised old ghosts and tested the very fiber of the constitution. And, the greatest irony of all, he has by his acts and words dealt a major and perhaps a lethal blow to the cause of segregation which he purported to uphold.”

Sept. 27 — “The truth the governor is now using the demagogue's tools to obscure is that this newspaper has drawn Mr. Faubus' unprincipled and unfounded condemnation not so much because it has criticized his actions but because from the beginning of this fiasco it has told him and his frenetic followers the simple and terrible truth — that if Mr. Faubus persisted in his course of naked defiance of the law of the United States there could be only one end result — and all of us would suffer under it.”

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