US

Decades after historic integration case, Little Rock considers renaming Confederate Boulevard

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2004 file photo, traffic passes a road sign designating Confederate Boulevard near downtown Little Rock, Ark. The Little Rock Planning Commission will consider a request to erase the remaining four blocks of Confederate Boulevard from city maps Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, the 58th anniversary of 1,200 federal troops arriving in Little Rock to help ensure the integration of Central High School. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2004 file photo, traffic passes a road sign designating Confederate Boulevard near downtown Little Rock, Ark. The Little Rock Planning Commission will consider a request to erase the remaining four blocks of Confederate Boulevard from city maps Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, the 58th anniversary of 1,200 federal troops arriving in Little Rock to help ensure the integration of Central High School. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)  (The Associated Press)

While only a short stretch of Confederate Boulevard remains, to some it is a glaring reminder of Little Rock's checkered racial past.

City officials are expected to consider a petition Thursday to rename the boulevard's last few blocks after one of the area's first black property owners. Coincidentally, the planning commission's vote comes 58 years to the day that 1,200 troops arrived to escort nine black students to their first day of class during the integration of Central High School.

Supporters say the Confederate name represents a divisive past, while opponents say it's tied to a former nursing home for Confederate soldiers.

Little Rock's city board will have final say on the request.