FAUBUS, ORVAL EUGENE (born January 7, 1910, Greasy Creek, Arkansas -- died December 14, 1994, Conway, Arkansas). Governor of Arkansas from 1954 to 1967 who precipitated a constitutional crisis by blocking the token school desegregation* of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 by calling out the Arkansas National Guard to "prevent violence."
Orval Faubus was a rural schoolteacher from 1928 to 1938. He then served as county recorder ( 1939-1942) and acting postmaster ( 1946-1947) and later postmaster ( 1953-1954) for Huntsville, Arkansas, while owning and running a newspaper. From 1949 to 1953 he served as assistant to the governor and director of highways. He was elected governor and served from 1954 to 1967.
Faubus was generally considered a southern populist who supported New Deal policies. After he was elected governor, he named six black men to the Democratic State Committee. This led to a 1956 campaign charge that he was "soft" on racism* by his opponent, former state Senator Jim Johnson. Faubus had boasted that he had put Negroes on the Democratic State Committee and that his son was attending an integrated school.
According to Wilkinson ( 1979:88), Arkansas, "though opposed to integration, was not the Deep South.*" Blacks had attended the University of Arkansas, and by 1955 ten school districts had school desegregation plans.* Little Rock had not had racial troubles and had a progressive mayor, congressman, and newspaper.
By 1957 Faubus, known as urbane and a personable governor rather than as a "redneck," saw his political future, which included a third gubernatorial term,