Skip to content Skip to navigation
Skip to global navigation Menu

August 12, 1959

After nearly a year of agitation, violence and litigation, the Little Rock, Arkansas, high schools reopened on an integrated basis. A month later, in a note, entitled “Leading Lady,” to her article in The New York Times Magazine, “Act III Opens in Little Rock,” Gertrude Samuels said:

“Much of the credit for the reopening of Little Rock’s schools must go to the woman who led the resistance to the Faubusmen long before most men of the community found their voices. She is 76-year-old Mrs. Adolphine Terry [Adolphine Fletcher ‘02], a gentlewoman of sparkling eyes and young spirit who lives in an ante-bellum house filled with Civil War portraits.

“A year ago she organized the Women’s Emergency Committee, with forty-eight members, to fight the rabble rousers on radio and television, with fliers and house-to-house surveys. Today the W. E. C. has 1,600 members.

“’Whether we like it or not, human slavery and segregation are dead,’ Mrs. Terry says. ‘We are living through the most exciting time of the world, because the soul of man everywhere is demanding more rights and more recognition—and, most of all, more human dignity.’”

The Years