Civil Rights Sites in Arkansas
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail includes over 100 attractions across 14 states. On the trail, which is a project of Travel South USA and the National Park Service, are landmark sites from the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. Arkansas is included in the project and Little Rock is home to sites that are part of the trail. These sites include:
- Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail – This trail begins on the sidewalk outside the Old State House Museum at 300 West Markham Street. Each year, a theme is chosen to honor a particular group of people who were active in Arkansas’s civil rights movement. New markers are added to it in a public ceremony each year.
- Clinton Presidential Center– Home of the Little Rock offices of the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum and the Clinton School of Public Service. Bill Clinton served five terms as the Governor of Arkansas before becoming the 42nd President of the United States, serving for two terms, from 1993 to 2001. Clinton is the recipient of numerous awards for his approach to civil rights throughout his political career.
- Daisy Bates House – A National Historic Landmark, this house at 1207 West 28th Street was the home of Arkansas NAACP president Daisy Bates and became a command post and sanctuary for the nine students involved in the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis during 1957-1958. It now serves as the L.C. & Daisy Bates Museum.
- Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site – The only active high school in the U.S. that is also a national historic site. This school was a major test in 1957 of the Civil Rights act where nine (the Little Rock Nine) African-American students integrated the all-white school. The visitor center across the street at 2120 W. Daisy Gatson Bates Drive depicts this moment in history through exhibits and photos.
- Little Rock Nine Memorial – A statue on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol pays homage to the Little Rock Nine who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
- Mosaic Templars Cultural Center – This center was founded in Little Rock in 1882 as a fraternal organization by John E. Bush and Chester W. Keatts. The reconstructed museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating Arkansas’s African-American culture and community.