LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Sept. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — President Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote address during the Sept. 25 Central High Integration 60th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony, officials recently announced. The ceremony will take place in the Roosevelt Thompson Auditorium at Little Rock Central High School. President Clinton has a long history with the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to attend Little Rock Central High School. In 1987, he hosted them at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion when they all gathered in Little Rock for the first time since the 1957-1958 school year. He was a keynote speaker at the 40th and 50th anniversary commemoration activities. In November 1998, he signed legislation that designated Little Rock Central High as a National Historic Site. The next year, he presented the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States, in a ceremony at the White House.
Little Rock City Manager Bruce T. Moore, chairman of the steering committee planning the commemorative events, said, “We’ve been working hard for the past year and I’m excited that President Clinton will be able to join us as the keynote speaker for the Commemoration Ceremony to honor these living treasures.” Little Rock Central High School is recognized for the role it played in the integration of public schools in the United States. Following the 1954 Brown v. Board decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Central High became an international focal point as nine African American students sought to enroll in the formerly all-white school. On September 25, 1957, under protection of members of the 101st Airborne, as sent in by President Dwight Eisenhower, the Little Rock Nine entered into Central High School.
About the official 60th Anniversary Events:
From Sept. 22 through Sept. 25, a series of events will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School by the Little Rock Nine (www.CentralHigh60th.org). Using the theme “Reflections of Progress,” the events include: a sculpture dedication on the grounds of Little Rock Central High School; an educational symposium with the Little Rock Nine at the Clinton Presidential Center; a concert by Mavis Staples to benefit the Little Rock Nine Foundation; a panel discussion featuring the children of the Little Rock Nine; a community-wide interfaith service; and finally, the commemoration ceremony at Little Rock Central High School to mark the official anniversary. The events have been planned by a steering committee consisting of representatives from the City of Little Rock, the Little Rock School District, National Park Service, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and other community partners.
Additionally, many cultural institutions in Little Rock and throughout the greater area will be hosting other exhibits and special events over the weekend that should be of interest to those attending the anniversary events.
About Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB):
The LRCVB is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Little Rock and promotes the city as a meeting, sports and leisure travel destination. Please visit www.LittleRock.comfor information regarding the city’s attractions, accommodations and dining options, as well as other activities and special events are taking place over that weekend.
SOURCE Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau