On September 20, Judge Ronald N. Davies granted NAACP lawyers Thurgood Marshall and Wiley Branton an injunction that prevented Governor Faubus from using the National Guard to deny the nine black students admittance to Central High. Faubus announced that he would comply with the court order, although he hoped that the black students would choose to stay away from Central until integration could occur without violence. 
On Monday, September 23, the nine black students, often called "The Little Rock Nine" set off for Central High. Meanwhile, the mob outside the school beat several black reporters there to cover the event. The reporters were saved when word came that the black students had entered the school. The mob went crazy. Mothers yelled to their children, "Come out! Don't stay in there with those niggers!"  Inside the school, the black students became the brunts of various jokes. White students spat on them, tripped them, and yelled insults. More serious problems were to come. By 11:30, the city police surrounding the school felt that they could no longer control the mob. The students had to leave the school through a rear entrance.
Asked to describe the situation in Little Rock that night, the editor of the Arkansas Gazette stated, "I'll give it to you in one sentence. The police have been routed, the mob is in the streets and we're close to a reign of terror."