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1957 School Crisis Primary Documents: Eisenhower

On September 24, 1957, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower issued an executive order: “The Secretary of Defense is authorized to use such of the armed forces of the United States as he may deem necessary” to ensure desegregation at Central High School. You can read more from Eisenhower’s executive order, and find other primary sources about the 1957 desegregation of Central High, and other landmark events in the civil rights movement, in my new book, The Civil Rights Movement: A Documentary Reader, published this month by Wiley Blackwell. The book tells the story of the civil rights movement in the United States through more than 120 carefully selected and edited primary documents, each with its own introductory headnote for context and explanation.