Fifty years after being escorted through an angry mob to their first day at the all-white Central High School, the nine pioneering black students returned in stretch limousines to cheers and applause from about 4,500 fans and dignitaries. "We thought this was a place that would accept us," Ernest Green, the first of the nine to graduate from Central High, told the crowd. "And you know what? Fifty years later, I think we were right!"

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