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The Little Rock Nine were a group of courageous black students who integrated the Arkansas capital city's Central High School in September 1957. They were: Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls. Initially thwarted by violent white mobs and National Guard troops who refused to help, the students eventually entered school after President Dwight Eisenhower ordered paratroopers to protect them. Brown was expelled in February 1958 after verbally responding to a racial slur, but the other eight stayed, and on May 29, Green became the first of the group -- and the first African American -- to graduate from Central High.