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Thank you for the Arkansas Times’ recent coverage of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. The community’s commemoration of this significant chapter in our nation’s history promises to provide many opportunities for education, inspiration and reflection. The National Park Service will actively participate in the commemoration, not only in 2007, but also into 2008 and 2009 to remember the “lost year,” the work of the Women’s Emergency Committee, the eventual reopening of Little Rock’s high schools and related topics.

The National Park Service established operations at Central High School National Historic Site in 2001. Since then, we have enjoyed numerous opportunities to meet and learn from many of the people who were involved or who were first-hand observers of the efforts to desegregate Central. This interaction has been of tremendous value in helping us develop a comprehensive education program, which includes live ranger-led programs, various printed publications, our website, curriculum units and other classroom materials, and the exhibit that will be on display in our new visitor center. Combined, these tools allow us to provide educational opportunities to children and adults, both here in Little Rock and, through distance learning, around the world. But, our work is not done.

We are very interested in talking with anyone who is willing to share memories and perspectives of what happened here in the 1950s based on his or her personal experiences or direct observations. Working in collaboration with faculty from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, we are conducting oral history interviews that will preserve first-hand accounts from the Little Rock Nine, other Central High students, members of the National Guard and 101st Airborne, school district employees, civic leaders, neighborhood residents and others. These personal remembrances will become priceless resources for future students and researchers, and also will allow us to continue to expand and enhance our educational programming.

I encourage anyone who may be interested in participating in the oral history project to contact Laura Miller or Spirit Trickey at 501-374-1957.

Michael Madell
Superintendent
Central High School National Historic Site


NRA question
For over 50 years, duck hunters have been limited to having no more than three shotgun shells in their shooting guns at any one time. The obvious reason is to protect the game from overshooting.

Today it is possible to purchase a firearm that will dispense 50 projectiles in less than 20 seconds.

Question: Why is it that game birds enjoy more protection than human beings?

Perhaps the NRA has a reasonable answer to the question.

Frank Lambright
Little Rock


Abortion, again
The abortion issue this election year is once again screaming loud and clear. Are we dealing with it in the true perspective?

It seems to me that the issue is one of religious belief vs. scientific understanding.

If the option to the right of abortion is not made firm and clear, then in the future look for a significant increase in penal/criminal institutions and a rationing of food.

Katherine Erwin
Little Rock


The great recycler
On Sept. 20, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reprinted (again!) one of the most offensive of Paul Greenberg’s endlessly recycled editorials, “My mother vs. Europe.” After referring to the Jewish Holocaust, Greenberg writes “when anyone would speak of the glories of Europe in her presence, she would look at them quizzically. A small woman, she nevertheless had this way of looking down at you when you said something completely, incomprehensibly, pitiably stupid.”

Greenberg’s swaggering contempt for Dante, Chaucer, Joan of Arc, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Shakespeare, Milton, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, Adam Smith, Austen, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, classical music, art and architecture, Winston Churchill, Edith Piaf, Ingmar Bergman, the Beatles and Monty Python is not because he is ignorant and unsophisticated but because he hopes that his readers are.

Jefferson wrote that the U.S. should be animated by a “decent respect for the opinions of mankind.” For Greenberg, this is absurd, because there is no one whose opinions are worthy of respect except the Americans and Israelis. Since Americans are not in the habit of listening to Asians, Africans and Latin Americans, if they also reject Europe the road is open for Greenberg’s program — xenophobia, unilateralism, jingoism and endless war.

Michael Klossner
Little Rock


Castle doctrine
The castle doctrine law will allow a citizen to defend himself against criminal attack in his home, car, place of business or wherever he has a legal right to be without fear of being charged with a crime. The criminal will not be able to file a lawsuit against his victim if he gets hurt committing a crime.

Eighteen states have passed this law. The present law in Arkansas states that a crime victim has to flee before he can defend himself. Otherwise, the police can charge the crime victim with a crime. This is wrong.

Our lawmakers should pass this law for all Arkansas citizens. The castle doctrine law is about our right of self-defense. Any lawmaker who opposes this right should not be allowed to put our tax dollars in his pocket.

Larry Harr
Stuttgart


Disrespectful
How crude, disrespectful and vulgar of your Arkansas Blog to call Sen. Jim Holt a hypocrite because someone gave him a van for his family, which he gave back because of criticism like yours. Jim Holt is a man who tries to live his life in such a way as to be above reproach. He is not perfect, neither am I or you for that matter. Before I judged a man for having a large family, I would read the Scriptures, which say blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them. And to call his family a brood is a little over the top in insulting the man for having a large family. This is still a free country and as far as I know, we have no laws against having a large family. I think you owe his family and him a huge apology.

Billie Sue Hoggard
Jonesboro


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