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Carlotta Walls LaNier's First Day of School Dress

Resilience against racism at Little Rock Central High School

Carlotta Walls LaNier was the youngest of the nine students to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas in September 1957. She wore this matching skirt and blouse to the first day of school, which was also the first day she was turned away. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was called on to intervene, and the students entered school on September 25, three weeks after the academic year started. 

Outfit worn by Carlotta Walls to Little Rock Central High School

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National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Clothing-Historical
Movement
Civil Rights Movement
Exhibition
Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation, 1876-1968
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Concourse 2, C 2053
Date
1957
Object number
2012.117.1ab
Caption
Carlotta Walls LaNier was the youngest of the nine students to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in September, 1957. She wore this matching skirt and blouse to the first day of school, which was also the first day she was turned away.
Description
This outfit was worn by Carlotta Walls LaNier during the "Little Rock Crisis" of 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. The outfit consists of a skirt and blouse in a matching alphabetical print of blue, teal, and white on a black background. The blouse fastens with small black buttons, has a pointed collar and short sleeves that tie into bows at the cuffs. The skirt is full and has several pleats at the waist.
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Carlotta Walls LaNier
Created by
Sportswear by Sheinberg
Worn by
Carlotta Walls LaNier, American, born 1942
Subject of
Little Rock Central High School, American, founded 1927
Topic
African American
Civil Rights
Clothing and dress
Education
Race relations
Segregation
U.S. History, 1953-1961
Place used
Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States, North and Central America
Medium
cotton with plastic buttons
Dimensions
H x W (top): 22 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (57.8 x 59.7 cm)
H x W (skirt): 27 x 41 in. (68.6 x 104.1 cm)
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Type
ensembles (costume)
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd516a6c474-e3c6-4baa-98d4-03ba9b73019c
Record ID
nmaahc_2012.117.1ab
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