Ryan Brim: Day 2, JF Spring Trip

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today, after an early morning wakeup and drive from Memphis, Tennessee to Conway, Arkansas, we went to a lecture on civil rights, focusing on integration in Little Rock in the 1950s. The speaker was President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower. The speech was interesting, and there were pictures on the big overhead screen of the events and President Eisenhower. After the lecture, we saw, got to meet, and take a picture with Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine.

Elizabeth Eckford with the Junior Fellows

Speaking of Little Rock, that is where we went next.

We arrived at Little Rock Central High just as classes were being dismissed.  Today, the school is predominantly African American, but 55 years ago, there were no African Americans at the school.  We learned about the process of integration at the Little Rock Central High Museum, located katty-korner from the high school.

As we left the museum, Lauren heard the bell of an ice-cream truck, and chased down the driver so that she could purchase an overpriced popsicle.

Meanwhile, the rest of us moved over to Little Rock Central High, where we posed for pictures in front of the historic high school.

Little Rock Central High

My favorite part of the day was exploring a park and playground near the Arkansas River.  The park wasn’t your typical City Park.  There was a tunnel system built into climbing rocks, and it added up to a lot of fun.  Even more fun was the nearby bridge, where pedestrians could gain unique views of the City.

Little Rock at Night, from The Junction Bridge

We finished the day with pizza at Damgoode Pies.  The pizza was great, but we had to cut the night short so that we could be prepared for our early-morning hike.

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