On September 4, 1957, 9 black students, historically known as the Little Rock Nine, were denied entry by armed troops in the Arkansas National Guard, resulting in an altercation. Images of the African American students being screamed at, mocked and spat on became national and international news which meant something had to be done to resolve the issue.

It eventually led to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Governor Faubus reaching an agreement that the Arkansas National Guard would remain stationed at the school to enable the African American students to attend. However, when the governor returned to Arkansas, he removed the National Guard troops and left the police to deal with the security.

On September 23, 1957, when the Little Rock nine tried to enter the school, they had to use a side entrance to avoid a hostile mob of 1,000 that had formed outside. Unfortunately, a riot erupted that day, and the police were forced to evacuate the African American students for their safety. It was then that the Mayor of Little Rock, Woodrow Mann, requested the president to intervene.

Upon receiving the news, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was not too pleased, and he, being a military man, did not want his orders undermined. He felt that Governor Faubus had been insubordinate. On that same day, Sept 23, the president issued an executive order 10730, which kept the Arkansas National Guard under federal authority. He also sent 1,000 US Army troops from the 101st Airborne Division to the location to ensure the order as the Central High School desegregated.