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Operation Arkansas Scrapbook

 

This collection shows a day in the life of the 101st Airborne Division, 327th Infantry of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, called to duty during the Little Rock Central High crisis in 1957. Photos were taken by Group Photographer Sp/2 Gonzales. First activated in August 1942, the 101st Airborne Division became a strategically ready Army force by 1957 designed to be on site in a matter of hours at any place in the world where a show of force might be necessary for the national interest. In September 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower ordered units of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to join the federalized National Guard in preventing civil disturbances as a result of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus' defiance of the federal court decision regarding integration of schools. One thousand Airborne Division troops remained on duty at Central High School for 34 days, responding to bomb threats, mobs, even charges that the men had invaded the girls' dressing room. The men of the 327th returned to Fort Campbell before the end of October, and this pictorial history was given to the sole Arkansan in the division, a resident of Salem in Saline County.

 

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