Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Little Rock Central High School (LRCHS) is an accredited comprehensive public high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. The school was the site of forced desegregation in 1957 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional three years earlier. This was during the period of heightened activism in the civil rights movement. Central is located at the intersection of Park Street and Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive (formerly 14th Street). Bates was an African-American journalist and state NAACP president who played a key role in bringing about, through the 1957 crisis, the integration of the school.
Central can trace its origins to 1869 when the Sherman School operated in a wooden structure at 8th and Sherman streets; it graduated its first class on June 13, 1873. In 1885 the Sherman School was moved to 14th and Scott streets and was named Scott Street School, but was more commonly called City High School. Five years later in 1890, the Peabody School was constructed at West Capitol and Gaines streets. It was named in honor of philanthropist George Peabody from US$200,000 received via the Peabody Education Fund. In 1905, the city founded Little Rock High School at the intersection of 14th and Cumberland streets, and shuttered the Peabody and Scott Street schools to serve as the city’s sole public high school. Until 1957, only white students were permitted to be enrolled.
In 1927 at a cost of US$1. 5 million, the city completed construction on the nation’s largest and most expensive high school facility, which remains in use today. In 1953 with the construction of Hall High School, the school was renamed as Little Rock Central High School. It has since been listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and named as a U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Historic Site.
Central High School, which covers grades 9 through 12, has an enrollment of 2,456 (2010–11). It is in the Little Rock School District, and serves sections of Little Rock and the entirety of Cammack Village. The current principal is Nancy Rousseau, who became principal in 2002.
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Little Rock Central High School“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.