On September 24, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to ensure that the Little Rock Nine would be able to enter Central High School.
In a thirteen minute televised White House address to the nation, President Eisenhower stated he had acted to prevent “mob rule.” The President made his decision about the troops while vacationing in Rhode Island. But he flew to Washington DC to deliver the address from the White House. In his remarks, he stated that he felt it was important to discuss this action from the house of Lincoln.
Following the President’s noontime decision, 1,000 members of the 101st Airborne Division were flown to Little Rock. In addition, all 10,000 members of the Arkansas National Guard were “federalized.”
Earlier in the day, Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann had pleaded with the President and US Attorney General for federal intervention. He stated that the Little Rock police could not quell the crowds alone.