Own a Silver Dollar Proof Coin Marking a Historic Civil Rights Event –
The Desegregation of Little Rick High School
Only 1 Available!
This 90% silver $1 proof coin was issued for the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine entering Little Rock Central High School, after having previously been denied entrance. The front of the coin pictures the feet of the Little Rock Nine and a soldier entering the school on the historic occasion with the inscription, “Desegregation in Education.” The back pictures the school as it looked in 1957. The school was designated a National Historic Site in 1998, and the surcharges from the sales of this coin, went to funding programs and preservation at the site.
What’s a proof coin? Proofs are the finest coins produced by the US Mint. The proof blanks are specially treated and hand-polished and cleaned so the images are struck perfectly. They’re also struck at least twice, which results in a frosted and highly-detailed design and mirror-like background. You’ll want to see this coin in-person to appreciate all the fine details. It’ll make a great addition to your collection.
The Story of the Little Rock Nine…
On May 17, 1954, the US Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision stating “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It declared state laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. A victory for civil rights advocates, the decision paved the way for integration. But the ruling was not acted on in all parts of the US, including Little Rock, Arkansas.
For the 1957-58 school year, Little Rock’s Central High School was to be integrated. About 75 black teenagers applied to go to the previously all-white Central High, but the school board accepted only nine. Governor Orval Faubus opposed the integration and ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround the school and block the black students. He declared that if black students attempted to enter the school, “blood would run in the streets.” The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) stopped the Guard from continuing to block the students.
On September 23, the Little Rock Nine braved a mob outside the school to pass through the school doors. Inside, white students spit at them, tripped them, and yelled insults. With the mob outside growing more violent, the black students were led out a rear door. President Dwight Eisenhower responded by sending troops of the 101st Airborne Division to protect them. The 101st patrolled outside the school and accompanied each black student inside the school on September 25. A task force of Arkansas guardsmen then assumed the duty in November and continued to protect the students for the remainder of the year. Eight of the Little Rock Nine were able to endure and finish that historic school year.