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Published January 23 2013

New film examines legacy of Judge Davies

If you go

What: “The Road to Little Rock” film and panel discussion

When: 7 tonight

Where: Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway

Info: Film and panel are free and open to the public; call (701) 239-8385 for more information.

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FARGO – A film premiering at the Fargo Theatre tonight will examine the role the late Fargo Judge Ronald Davies played in American civil rights history.

Called “The Road to Little Rock,” the film follows Davies, then a U.S. District Court judge, as he traveled to Little Rock, Ark., in 1957 to help with an overload of court cases there.

Not long after he arrived, Davies dissolved an injunction that had halted the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School.

After making the order, Davies found himself occupying “the hottest judicial seat in the country,” according to an Associated Press report at the time.

Davies’ order was eventually enforced by President Dwight Eisenhower, but not before Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus attempted to defy it.

“The Road to Little Rock” includes interviews with members of the Little Rock Nine, the first black students to be escorted into Central High School, as well as other original film footage from the era.

A panel discussion will follow the conclusion of the film, and will include guests such as Dr. Terrence Roberts of the Little Rock Nine.

The film is also part of a Fargo Public Schools curriculum that Superintendent Jeff Schatz says educates students about the history of the civil rights movement.

“It’s a story about doing what’s right, and that’s what Judge Davies was all about,” Schatz says.