Elizabeth Eckford

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Elizabeth Eckford (born October 4, 1941) was a member of the Little Rock Nine. This was a group of African-American students who became the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. They were able to attend the school after a court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court ordered that schools had to integrate black and white students. Elizabeth's attempt to go to school was photographed on the morning of September 4, 1957. She was prevented from entering the school by the Arkansas National Guard. A dramatic snapshot by Johnny Jenkins (UPI) showed the young girl being followed and threatened by an angry white mob; this and other photos of the day's startling events were circulated around the US and the world by the print press.

The most famous photo of the event was taken by Will Counts of the Arkansas Democrat. His photo was the unanimous selection for a 1958 Pulitzer Prize, but since the story had earned the Arkansas Gazette two other Pulitzer Prizes already, the Prize was awarded to another photographer for a pleasant photograph of a two-year-old boy in Washington, D.C. A different photo taken by Counts of Alex Wilson, a black reporter for the Memphis Tri-State Defender being beaten by the angry mob in Little Rock the same day, was chosen as the "News Picture of the Year" for 1957 by the National Press Photographers Association. This image by Counts prompted President Dwight D. Eisenhower to send federal troops to Little Rock.