Heroes & Villains
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A press statement on events at Little Rock by President Eisenhower, 23 September 1957
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/126719)

THE WHITE HOUSE
U.S. NAVAL BASE
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I want to make several things very clear in connection with the disgraceful occurrences of today at Central High School in the City of Little Rock. They are:

1) The Federal law and orders of a United States District Court implementing that law cannot be flouted with impunity by any individual or any mob of extremists.

2) I will use the full power of the United States including whatever force may be necessary to prevent any obstruction of the law and to carry out the orders of the Federal Court.

3) Of course, every right thinking citizen will hope that the American sense of justice and fair play will prevail in this case. It will be a sad day for this country-- both at home and abroad-- if school children can safely attend their classes only under the protection of armed guards.

4) I repeat my expressed confidence that the citizens of Little Rock and of Arkansas will respect the law and will not countenance violations of law and order by extremists.