Elizabeth Eckford Commemorative Bench Dedication


Submitted by Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, the Central High Memory Project, and partners will dedicate the Elizabeth Eckford Commemorative Bench on September 4, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Visitor Center of the Central High School National Historic Site. We will introduce participants to the student’s new mobile app for the audio walking tour and then walk to the bench site at the corner of Park and 16th Street, which is the same route Elizabeth Eckford walked through the mobs on September 4, 1957. The program will include remarks by special guests, a dedication by the Central High Memory Project Team, and closing remarks by Ms. Elizabeth Eckford.

Afterwards, the Central High Memory Project Team and other contributors, will be available to update participants on current and future projects at the Visitor Center. Additionally, the public is invited to record their memories and stories as part of the students’ oral history interview work.

The goal of the student-initiated Elizabeth Eckford Commemorative Bench Project is to share the stories and honor the legacy of the Little Rock Nine and the surrounding stories with other students and visitors now and into the future. The current project includes: building the bench, creating the mobile app, the walking tour script, and starting the ongoing oral history interview and podcast series.

The Elizabeth Eckford Bench is a replica of the original public city bus bench where Elizabeth Eckford sought shelter from the mob that was protesting the desegregation of Central High School on September 4, 1957. The bench will serve as a visual destination for the walking tour and a symbolic connection for visitors with the story of that day. Using the mobile app, visitors can record their reflections on the story while seated at the bench and share their narratives.

In partnership with Central High Memory Project and Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site are: Bullock Temple C.M.E., Central High School and their EAST LAB, the Little Rock School District, the City of Little Rock, Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Good Earth Garden Center, Friends of Central High Museum Inc., Home Depot, Little Rock Club 99 and other Rotary International Clubs, Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Unity in the Community, Central High Museum Inc., and others.

Light refreshments will be served at the visitor center upon conclusion of the event.

For more information, call the National Historic Site at (501) 374-1957 or email [email protected].

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is located at 2120 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, diagonally across the street from Central High School. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ranger David Kilton, 501-374-1957.

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Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-682-7606
E-mail: [email protected]

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"