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Little Rock, Arkansas Students Honored on 50th Anniversary of School Integration

Nine African-American students who integrated a high school in the southern U.S. city of Little Rock, Arkansas, 50 years ago are being honored on the anniversary of that major civil rights milestone.

Former President and one-time Arkansas governor Bill Clinton is among the speakers who are scheduled to pay tribute to the former students during a ceremony at Little Rock Central High School Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of schools in 1954. But three years later, the governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, ordered the state's national guard to keep the black students from entering the high school.

A stand-off continued for three weeks, prompting then-President Dwight Eisenhower to send Army paratroopers to escort the students inside.

President Bush issued a statement Tuesday honoring the so-called "Little Rock Nine," saying their bravery inspired a generation of Americans.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.