1957 September 7

Vatican Condemns Race Discrimination in the U.S.


L’Osservatore Romano, the official publication of the Vatican, on this day condemned racial discrimination in the U.S. The comment was prompted by the ongoing crisis over the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (a crisis that would only get much worse over the next two weeks). It was a very rare comment on U.S. domestic affairs for the Vatican paper. Racial discrimination, it said, cannot be “excused from any point of view.”

For the Little Rock school integration crisis, see September 4, 1957, when Arkansas National Guard troops prevented the enrollment of nine African-American students; September 23, 1957, when a mob of segregationists blocked the students; and September 25, 1957, when President Dwight Eisenhower sent in federal troops to ensure the integration of Central High School.

Watch 1957 coverage of the event on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH-eC4LgZT4

Learn more: Karen Anderson, Race and Resistance at Central High School (2010)

Read the book by Daisy Bates, Little Rock’s integration leader: Daisy Bates, The Long Shadow of Little Rock: A Memoir (1962)

Learn more at a timeline of events for the Little Rock Crisis: http://www.nps.gov/chsc/historyculture/timeline.htm

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