Jefferson A. Thomas, Sr

Jefferson A. Thomas, Sr

Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA
Death 5 Sep 2010 (aged 67)
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section: Meditation, Lot 202, Space 4
Memorial ID 58261615 · View Source
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Civil Rights Figure. One of the "Little Rock Nine", a group of African-American students who in 1957 were chosen to integrate the all-White Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was a major test case in the enforcement of the Supreme Court decision "Brown v. Board of Education" (1954), which paved the way for desegregated schools throughout the United States. Thomas was a 15 year-old sophomore when he volunteered to participate. When Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called in the National Guard to prevent Thomas and his eight fellow students from entering the school, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent in the 101st Airborne Division to ensure their enrollment. Despite this the youths endured bullying and threats on campus, and Thomas was one of only three of the group to graduate there, in 1960. He narrated an Oscar-winning documentary of the event, "Nine from Little Rock" (1964). After graduating from what is now California State University in Los Angeles with a degree in business administration, Thomas served in the US Army during the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of Sergeant. He subsequently worked as an accountant for the US Defense Department until his retirement in 2004. In 1999, President Bill Clinton presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Thomas and the other members of the "Little Rock Nine".

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Dylan and Ciana
  • Added: 6 Sep 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 58261615
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jefferson A. Thomas, Sr (19 Sep 1942–5 Sep 2010), Find a Grave Memorial no. 58261615, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .