Built in 1927 at a cost of $1.5 million, Little Rock Senior High School, later to be renamed Little Rock Central High, was hailed as the most expensive, most beautiful, and largest high school in the nation.
The denial to allow the Little Rock Nine to enter the school provoked a showdown between the Governor, Orval Faubus, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower that gained international attention. The event was important in America's Civil Rights Movement.
The high school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 19, 1977, and was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 20, 1982. On November 6, 1998, Congress established Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. The National Historic Site is administered in partnership with the National Park Service, Little Rock Public Schools, the City of Little Rock, and others.
In 2006, Little Rock Central High was ranked by Newsweek as the 20th best high school in the nation.