You are on page 1of 13

Educating Young People about the Constitution

Presidents and the Constitution, Vol. 2 Faithfully Execute: Eisenhower and The Little Rock Crisis

www.BillofRightsInstitute.org

Presidents and the Constitution Resources


The Presidential Oath of Office states I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States But it doesnt mention anything about how the Office of President should execute laws.

Directions: Read Dr. David Marions essay. Underline or highlight the facts you think are important.
2

The President as Enforcer of the Law


Constitutional Connection Activity

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Critical Engagement Question Should President Eisenhower have used federal troops to enforce a federal courts order to integrate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas? Objectives Understand the events leading up to and including the Little Rock Crisis. Analyze President Eisenhowers constitutional justification for his actions. Assess the Presidents decision to use military force to prevent violent opposition to a court order.
4

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Background/Homework Read Handout A: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis and answer the questions.

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Warm Up On the next few slides you will see images related to the Little Rock Crisis at Central High School. Study the following slides and answer the questions underneath each picture on a separate sheet of paper.

What are people doing? What are people NOT doing? What kinds of expressions or attitudes do you see? Are there law enforcement officers present? If so, do they seem to be working to stop the violence? What do these images reveal about Little Rock at the time 6 they were taken?

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis

What are people doing? What are people NOT doing? What kinds of expressions or attitudes do you see? Are there law enforcement officers present? If so, do they seem to be working to stop the violence? What do these images reveal about Little Rock at the time they were taken?

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis

What are people doing? What are people NOT doing? What kinds of expressions or attitudes do you see? Are there law enforcement officers present? If so, do they seem to be working to stop the violence? What do these images reveal about Little Rock at the time they 8 were taken?

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Activity Review all the documents in Handout B: Document Based Question. Answer the Scaffolding Questions below each document and keep in mind how this document would answer the Key Question: Assess President Eisenhowers constitutional justification for his decision to send federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce a federal courts order to integrate public schools.

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Activity continued Use Handout C: Organizing Documents to mark your answers as you analyze the documents and respond to the Scaffolding Questions. One volunteer should read aloud Eisenhowers radio address, Document K Suggested Group Pairings: Group 1: Documents A,B,C,D,E Group 2: Documents A,B,C,F,G Group 3: Documents A,B,C,H,I
10

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Wrap-Up What have you learned about the events of September, 1957? How would you answer the Key Question: Assess President Eisenhowers constitutional justification for his decision to send federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce a federal courts order to integrate public schools.

New York City Mayor Robert Wagner greeting the teenagers who integrated Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas / World Telegram photo by Walter Albertin. Pictured, front row, left to right: Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Carlotta Walls, Mayor Wagner, Thelma Mothershed, Gloria Ray; back row, left to right: Terrance Roberts, Ernest Green, Melba Pattilo, Jefferson Thomas.

11

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Homework Add more information to Handouts B and C as needed to prepare to defend your response to the Key Question. Write a well organized essay (response) proving your answer to the key Question is correct.

12 Vivian Malone registering for classes at the University of Alabama

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis


Extensions Have students read Eisenhowers entire radio address and summarize its key points.

Have students research the lives of the Little Rock Nine:


Carlotta Walls Jefferson Thomas

Elizabeth Eckford
Thelma Mothershed Melba Pattillo

Terrance Roberts
Gloria Ray Minniejean Brown Ernest Green
13