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Historical Panel Discussion in Little Rock


By The Office of Public Affairs

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For immediate release

Historical Panel Discussion - New Orleans Four

On March 5, 2024, the U.S. Marshals (USMS) Museum presented the Director’s Initiative event for the “New Orleans Four” at the Robinson Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Director Ronald L. Davis presented the keynote remarks, followed by a historic panel with three of the four students, Leona Tate, Gail Ettienne and Tessie Prevost.


Dorothy Prevost, the mother of Tessie and the only surviving parent of the panelists; and Herschel Garner, the sole surviving USMS deputy on their detail were also on the panel. Historian Dave Turk served as moderator.

Over 600 attendees, mostly from regional schools, were in the audience along with members of the judiciary, “Little Rock Nine” member Elizabeth Eckert and Central High School Principal Nancy Rousseau. The memories were vivid, as told by the members of the panel as many accounts were never heard before.  

Historical Panel Discussion - Director Ronald L. Davis presenting the keynote remarks

The fourth member of the “New Orleans Four”, Ruby Bridges, was unable to attend.

On November 14, 1960, the Executive Office for U.S. Marshals participated in the most high profile operation to that date. Deputy U.S. Marshals enforced court orders in support of Brown v Board of Education to integrate schools in the South.

They were first assigned to integrate Central High School in Little Rock in the fall of 1958.  Governor Orval Faubus closed the schools, ending the operation early.  Two years later, they turned to the USMS again to ensure that four six-year-old African American girls attended two different schools in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The “New Orleans Four” were guarded from their homes to their schools (and back) for over a month by USMS personnel before turning over the detail to local authorities.  There were incidents of violence and intimidation against all associated with their cases.

New Orleans Four Historical Panel Discussion Representetives

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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