May 8, 1959
After moderate Little Rock School Board members had walked out of a meeting in protest, segregationist board members held a rump session to fire forty-four teachers whom they believed supported integration. The dismissal touched a nerve among many in Little Rock’s business and civic community, most of whom had been reluctant to speak out during the Central High crisis in 1957. The reaction led to the meeting of a group of roughly 180 Little Rock residents to organize a recall effort aimed at ousting segregationists from the school board. STOP (Stop This Outrageous Purge) emerged from this meeting. Many members were the husbands of members of the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC), which had opposed Governor Orval Faubus’s decision to close Little Rock schools for the 1958–59 school year.