September 2, 1958
After peaceful desegregation the previous year, thirteen African American students attempted to enroll in the Van Buren (Crawford County) public schools for the 1958–59 school year. Because of continuing unrest in Little Rock (Pulaski County) over desegregation, however, the mood had changed considerably. The black students were met by jeering white students carrying hateful signs. The desegregation of Van Buren schools produced several national headlines and is one of Arkansas’s most intriguing episodes of compliance with—and defiance against—the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas school desegregation decision.