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Telegram to the Governor of Arkansas in Response to His Request for Assurance Regarding His Action at Little Rock.

September 05, 1957

The Honorable Orval E. Faubus

The Governor of the State of Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas

Your telegram received requesting my assurance of understanding of and cooperation in the course of action you have taken on school integration recommended by the Little Rock School Board and ordered by the United States District Court pursuant to the mandate of the United States Supreme Court.

When I became President, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The only assurance I can give you is that the Federal Constitution will be upheld by me by every legal means at my command.

There is no basis of fact to the statements you make in your telegram that Federal authorities have been considering taking you into custody or that telephone lines to your Executive Mansion have been tapped by any agency of the Federal Government.

At the request of Judge Davies, the Department of Justice is presently collecting facts as to interference with or failure to comply with the District Court's order. You and other state officials --as well as the National Guard which, of course, is uniformed, armed and partially sustained by the Government--will, I am sure, give full cooperation to the United States District Court.


Note: This telegram was sent from the U. S. Naval Base, Newport, R. I.

Pursuant to Judge Davies' request, the Department of Justice presented an investigation report to the District Court on September 9, 1957. The District Court immediately issued an order bringing the Department of Justice into the case as amicus curiae and as moving party in injunctive proceedings. On the same day (September 9) a White House release stated that the Attorney General had informed the President that the department of Justice was undertaking to comply with the order of the District Court.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Telegram to the Governor of Arkansas in Response to His Request for Assurance Regarding His Action at Little Rock. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233548

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