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House passes bill to expand Central High historic site

The bill would expand the historic site to include seven residences on South Park Street and help preserve the streetscape as close as it was in 1957 when nine black students enrolled at the formerly all-white school. (KATV photo)

The House has approved a bill to modify the boundaries of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, expanding it to include seven homes near the school.

Rep. French Hill introduced the bill to include seven residences on South Park Street, comprising approximately 1.47 acres, and preserve the area as close as it was in 1957 when nine black students enrolled at the formerly all-white school.

It also allows the Secretary of the Interior to enter into separate cooperative agreements with the property owners to assist them in the preservation.

“Just ahead of the historic 60th anniversary, we’re commemorating the Little Rock Nine and their brave role in the fight for equality. As we celebrate, this legislation that passed the House today ensures the proper historical inclusion of the seven homes located across South Park Street from Little Rock Central High School,” Rep. Hill stated. “Together with the school, they will now stand as living monuments to the civil rights movement in Arkansas and the United States. Preserving the streetscape as close as it was in 1957 serves as a historic reminder for all modern-day history travelers retracing the steps of the civil rights movement."

Hill says Sen. Tom Cotton also supported the effort and sponsored a companion bill in the Senate.


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