Nov. 4, 1999 Little Rock Pulaski County Arkansas, USA
Civil Rights advocate, NAACP President, Co-Publisher 'Arkansas State Press' and Mentor to the 'Little Rock Nine' teenager 1957. Born in Huttig, Arkansas, Mrs. Bates was orphaned at an early age and later learned her mother was killed by three white men, an action which prompted her father to flee town, but he too ended up at the bottom of a swamp. Daisy married Lucius Christopher (L.C) Bates at age 21, L.C. and Daisy, together used their savings to lease the Arkansas State Press. Within a year the paper was at the details of a shooting of a black solider by a local police officer. 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional and this decision forced educators and other prominent citizens in Little Rock to step up measures to comply. Daisy Bates and her cohorts devised a strategy to combat the Little Rock School Board's reluctance to move with alacrity. They compiled a list of cases denoting denial of admission on the bases of race and they mounted litigation to speed up the process of integration of the schools. Mrs.Bates and the black children she attempted to enroll were by no means stifled and these efforts led to the creation of the "Blossom Plan" which stressed the integration of the highest grades at Central High School. When the Little Rock Nine, including Ernest Green and Melba Pattillo Beals showed up for their first day at school, they were greeted by the National Guard with fixed bayonets and a howling mob of whites who barked racial epithets. Mrs. Bates was on hand to witness the confrontation and to comfort her charges.