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Crisis at Central High (1981)

2120 Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas, AR


Central High

The made-for-television movie was based on the memoirs of Elizabeth Huckaby, who was assistant principal at Little Rock Central High School during the 1957 desegregation crisis. She was charged with assisting the Little Rock Nine through the year, keeping a diary of events as they took place. This diary was the foundation for her book, Crisis at Central High, in 1981. Prior to publication, Time-Life Productions used a draft copy of the book as the basis for the docudrama of the same name. Most of the movie was filmed at Central, still a working high school and now a National Historic Landmark.

Actress Joanne Woodward portrayed Huckaby in the film and was nominated for an Emmy in 1981 and a Golden Globe Award in 1982 for the role.





Regina Taylor launched her television career in this movie playing the role of Minnijean Brown. The real Minnijean is second from the left in this 50th anniversary group photo, with President Bill Clinton, of the Little Rock Nine in 2007.

The restored Magnolia/Mobile Station across the street from the school (shown left during the filming) was a hang-out for students and a temporary office for reporters during the desegregation crisis. It is now used as an education center.