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July 15, 2012 / Jim Fenton

Mississippi River Day 12: Memphis to Little Rock

This article is part of a series about our recent vacation traveling down the Mississippi River. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

Today’s drive is one of the shorter legs: only about two hours. We plan on spending only one night in Little Rock, so we got a good start in order to see as much as possible this afternoon.

Central High

Little Rock Central High School

Our first stop was at Little Rock Central High School, the school where in 1957, the “Little Rock Nine”, a group of African-American high school students, challenged the “separate but equal” principle by enrolling in a previously all-white school over the objections of the Governor and many Little Rock residents. Central High is still a functioning (and very beautiful, incidentally) high school, but now there is a National Park Service visitor center across the street. The exhibits explained the events well in the context of African-American civil rights protests as well as other civil rights issues like woman suffrage and rights of those with disabilities.

Oval Office replica

Oval Office replica

We then proceeded to the Clinton Presidential Center (the “Clinton Library”). This is the first presidential library for any of us, but it was well worth the visit, especially for Kenna and me, who remember the Clinton era well. There were many reminders of the accomplishments of President Clinton, and even a bit of humor. A full-size replica of the Cabinet Room and Oval Office were part of the exhibit, and were striking in their realism (except for the monitors added to the Cabinet Room table).

Mississippi River crossings today: 1
July 15, 2012

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