Why did the actions of Arkansas governor Orval Faubus regarding school integration gain national attention?
He refused desegregation of schools
Orval Faubus refused the right to go to Little Rock High School to four African American students in 1957 thus violating the 1954 Brown versus Board of Education which had made segregation in schools illegal.
His actions in defying a supreme court ruling and federal law brought back into national attention the conflict between states rights and national law.
The Civil war was fought over the issue of states rights. Did the States have the right to disobey federal law and succeed from the union to preserve the institution of slavery? The issue was settled in favor of Federal law being supreme.
The Arkansas governor in insisting that state laws enforcing segregation could not be overruled by Federal laws or rulings by the Supreme Court gained national attention. This action violated not only the Constitutional principle of the supremacy of Federal Law it violated social justice denying equal access to education.
The nation was focused to see which side would win States rights or Federal Law. Federal law won. Today California and the Federal government are fighting the same issue. Does California in the name of social justice have the right to defy Federal Law.