View of Central High School, Little Rock Arkansas. Former student, Jefferson Thomas, one of the nine black students who integrated the school in 1957,is revisiting the school. View of integrated student track and field team practicing.View of the front of the school. Flashback scenes of the "Little Rock Nine," black students trying to enter Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. Police officer keeping back jeering local students. Racial fighting breaks out among people watching the event, and police try to maintain order. View of Arkansas National Guard troops preventing the black students from entering the school. Scene returns to 1964 briefly and then back to September 27, 1957, when on orders from President Eisenhower, a company of U.S. Army soldiers marches up takes up positions at the school.They set up barricades, maintain order, and provide armed escort for the nine black students entering school.The nine students enter army station wagons and drive to school accompanied by soldiers in an army jeep.Views of people mingling around the school as U.S. Army soldiers stand amongst them.
Jefferson Thomas, of the "Little Rock Nine," in a hallway, revisiting Central High School, in Little Rock Arkansas. He looks through a classroom window at a former teacher, Miss Dunn, speaking to a class from a lab table next to an anatomical model. View of Ernest Green sitting with other students in a lab filled with electronic equipment. Much later, as President of the NAACP chapter on campus of Michigan State University, he is seen handing out pamphlets to other students. Views of students congregating on the grounds of the university. One girl holds a poster reading "Give, NAACP Fund Drive." Professor David Gottlieb introduces Ernest Green who steps to a classroom podium to speak to Michigan State students in a lecture room. Green carrying books is seen entering and sitting down in the Michigan State library. In another scene, he enters sociological data into Hollerith punch cards for processing by computer. He walks in the university computer room where tape decks are seen spinning and computer operators are at work. One of the tapes mounted on a drive is labeled: "Ernest Green, Aspirations." Results from his work are seen coming out of a line printer. Green sits in a library and opens the 1960 yearbook of Central High School containing his and Carlotta Walls 'entries. View of Carlotta, in dorm at Denver University, Colorado, where she is a student. Gloria Ray is seen at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she is a senior majoring in chemistry. Terrence Roberts is seen at the City College of Los Angeles, where he is studying Business Administration. Melba Pattillo, who left college to marry, is seen in two views.Scene shifts back to Central High and Jefferson Thomas, looking at the athletic trophies on display. He (who is narrating this film) states that he will take an exam in Spring to become a Certified Public Accountant. He walks down steps of Central High and camera pans over neighborhood to the State Capitol dome in distance.
Jefferson Thomas standing against the wall in hallway of Central High School, Little Rock Arkansas, four years after graduating. Bell rings and the hall fills with students changing classes. Scene shifts to Elizabeth Eckford, while a student at Central High, and then to her at Central State College, in Ohio, where she is seen moving about the campus buildings and grounds. Scene flashes back to 1957 where she is seen with others entering Central High, Little Rock, Arkansas, under U.S. Army protection. Scene returns to Central State College, where students stand in a circle and sing their Alma Mater song.
Reporter interviews the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus about racial segregation of 1957 during his term. The Governor says that he is always ready to accept changes, but he conveys support for segregation by equating it to an "old building" or a "fine painting" and saying that it is "not good to tear down such a building or destroy such a painting simply because it is old." He continues saying, "These things are not good because they are old; many of them have grown old because they are good. And the experiences of many people have proved them to be good." Montage shows buildings, courthouse and justice statues, and public protests with arrests of African American marchers and demonstrators during the civil rights movement. Also seen are Jim Crow era signs segregating white versus colored waiting room facilities. Local Arkansas beating back protestors with clubs and batons, and police seizing African American protestors and making arrests. US troops in jeeps and trucks arriving and deploying in Arkansas. Included are scenes with signs of Jim Crow segregation practices, with separate entrances for white versus colored patrons at an Intra-state bus depot.
Dwight D. Eisenhower during presidency of the Columbia University in 1948. Eisenhower walking at a Columbia University graduation ceremony in New York City and speaking to the group assembled. Two years later, views of Eisenhower as NATO supreme commander in Europe. Eisenhower seated in NATO Conference. Citizens in United States prepare signs and urge Eisenhower to run for President. He salutes a parade in 1952 as he begins a run for the Presidency. Pamphlets and posters read 'we need Eisenhower'. An animated cartoon shows a smiling and marching Uncle Sam with an "Ike for President" jingle song playing. Cartoon shows animated citizens and an elephant supporting Eisenhower. Scenes from Republican National Convention, and Nixon and Eisenhower holding their arms up together. Citizens voting, using ballot boxes, and voting machines. A nun votes. Eisenhower casts his vote. People hold U.S. flags and cheer. Signboards and neon lighting on a building track vote tally and proclaim Eisenhower victory in 1952 presidential election. Eisenhower in Korea after the election. He meets and eats with American troops in the field and studies the war effort. South Koreans wave flags on announcement of truce (cease-fire armistice) in Korean War Eisenhower takes presidential oath of office in Washington DC. He signs document for Civil Rights Act of 1957 (voting right act). View of negro students of the "Little Rock Nine" entering a military station wagon under armed troop escort during integration of Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas. U.S. Army troops escort the African American students into school. Exterior view of United Nations building in New York. Eisenhower delivers speech on Atoms For Peace. Churchill and Khrushchev visit Eisenhower in America. Scenes of John F Kennedy inauguration in 1961. Eisenhower with Kennedy and later with President Johnson. In 1968 address to Republican Convention Eisenhower notes risk of growth of Communism.
Shows crowd gathered outside the Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas, in 1957, protesting admission of negro students. Shows "Little Rock Nine" in station wagon being escorted to the school by armed Federal troops. Ernie Green reflects on the experience of the troop escort. Views of Ernest Greene at Michigan State University in a library and teaching in a classroom. Green is seen on a building site working to encourage black apprenticeships in the building trades. Ernest Green seated in an office.