The Arkansas Negro Boys' Industrial School, ten miles southeast of Little Rock, had 69 inmates, aged 14 to 17, living in a rickety 1936 WPA building. Most were sentenced to work on the reform farm for petty offenses such as stealing hubcaps, a few were allowed to stay simply because of broken homes and nowhere else to go. Each night at seven o'clock, they were locked inside their old dormitory by one of three key-carrying Negro officials. Thus they were confined one night last week, when fire broke out; the building was...

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