Alternate History

American Civil War - 1957

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Second American Civil War broke out on August 23, 1956. It was considerably much more destructive than the first Civil War in 1861-1865, as it saw the use of tanks, napalm, automatic weaponry, and chemical and nuclear weaponry.


One of the plans created during attempts to desegregate the schools of Little Rock was by school superintendent Virgil Blossom. The initial approach proposed substantial integration beginning quickly and extending to all grades within a matter of many years. This original proposal was scrapped and replaced with one that more closely met a set of minimum standards worked out in attorney Richard B. McCulloch’s brief. This finalized plan would start in September 1957 and would integrate one high school, Little Rock Central. The second phase of the plan would take place in 1960 and would open up a few junior high schools to a few black children. The final stage would involve limited desegregation of the city’s grade schools at an unspecified time, possibly as late as 1963. This plan was met with varied reactions from the NAACP branch of Little Rock. Militant members like the Bateses opposed the plan on the grounds that it was "vague, indefinite, slow-moving and indicative of an intent to stall further on public integration". Despite this view, the majority, most feeling that Blossom and the school board should have the chance to prove themselves, that the plan was reasonable, and that the white community would accept it, accepted the plan. This view was short lived, however. Changes were made to the plan, the most detrimental being a new transfer system that would allow students to move out of the attendance zone to which they were assigned.</span> The unaltered Blossom Plan had gerrymandered school districts to guarantee a black majority at Horace Mann High and a white majority at Hall High. This meant that, even though black students lived closer to Central, they would be placed in Horace Mann thus confirming the intention of the school board to limit the impact of desegregation. The altered plan gave white students the choice of not attending Horace Mann, but didn’t give black students the option of attending Hall. This new Blossom Plan did not sit well with the NAACP and after failed negotiations with the school board; the NAACP filed a lawsuit on February 8, 1956. This lawsuit, along with a number of other factors contributed to the Little Rock School Crisis of 1957.

Several segregationist councils threatened to hold protests at Central High and physically block the black students from entering the school. Governor Orval Faubu] deployed the Arkansas National Guard to support the segregationists on September 4, 1957. The sight of a line of soldiers blocking out the students made national headlines and polarized the nation. Regarding the accompanying crowd, one of the nine students, Elizabeth Eckford, recalled:

"They moved closer and closer ... Somebody started yelling ... I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd—someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me."

On September 9, the Little Rock School District issued a statement condemning the governor's deployment of soldiers to the school, and called for a citywide prayer service on September 12. Even President Dwight Eisenhower attempted to de-escalate the situation by summoning Faubus for a meeting, warning him not to defy the Supreme Court's ruling.

Zero Hour

The warning was not enough. On August 23, 1956, the Little Rock Nine was escorted to school by the 101st Airborne Division. Eisenhower also put the Arkansas National Guard under federal control. Governor Faubus, however, overrode the order, and stationed the Guard outside of Little Rock High School.

As the Nine approached the school, students and staff began yelling racial slurs and death threats at them. A CBS reporter on the scene began feeling uncomfortable, believing a lynching was imminent.

The stand-off lasted for two hours. Eventually, Major General Edwin Walker ordered the Arkansas National Guard to stand down. Faubus responded with only three words: "Kill the niggers".

All of sudden, the entire Little Rock Nine fell in a hail of gunfire from the Guardsmen. They were dead on the scene as the Guardsmen continued shooting at the bullet-riddled carcasses. The Airborne returned fire, and a firefight ensued. The CBS reporter on the scene walked off camera, grabbed a gun from a slain Airborne soldier, went back to the camera and said he would be back (hopefully), and then was heard audibly shouting "WELCOME TO THE LAND OF LIBERTY,!!" He survived the ordeal. At this point in Mississippi armed Klan and or militia arose. PART2: in Argentina Nazis hidden by operation paperclip began mobilizing for what history would call Drang Nord. Later same day Richard Wright commits suicide.


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