Some commemorate, a few protest

(May 17, 2004) — (North Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas and the nation marks 50 years of court-ordered public school desegregation today. The U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Brown versus the Board of Education decision on May 17th, 1954. The NAACP in North Little Rock will host a commemorative banquet this evening at a downtown church. Special awards will be presented to those who have made contributions to the educational system. All last week, the group observed the 50th anniversary with speakers going to elementary schools to promote the importance of education and school attendance. Over the weekend, a white supremacist group headed by Arkansan Billy Roper of Russellville rallied in Topeka, Kansas, at the school that was at the heart of the historic lawsuit. President Bush visits the school today.