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Published August 19, 2011, 06:32 PM

Davies High School a tribute to its namesake

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We're just days from the first day of school ever at Fargo's Davies High School. Tonight, the first ever athletic event at the school, tomorrow, a symposium with the Little Rock 9. On Sunday the school will be dedicated.

We're just days from the first day of school ever at Fargo's Davies High School. Tonight, the first ever athletic event at the school, tomorrow, a symposium with the Little Rock 9. On Sunday the school will be dedicated.

Judge Ralph Erickson – US District Judge: “This school stands as a testament to a truly great judge, but an even greater man.”

As the saying goes, dynamite comes in small packages. Judge Ronald N Davies, born in Crookston in 1904, stood all of 5-foot-1-and-half inches tall. But his height couldn't measure his will to succeed. At UND he ran the 100 yard dash in ten seconds flat. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, and as a federal judge, he ordered the racial integration of Little Rock's Central High School.

Erickson: “He understood that the world had gray, but he also understood that some things were black and some things were white. That some things were right and some things were wrong.”

He was a father of five and a husband of 63 years. Daughter Jean Davies Schmith remembers her father as a compassionate man; a man who didn't like to talk bout himself or his decisions.

Jean Davies Schmith – Daughter of Judge Davies: “If you acted and did the right thing in the face of fear, he would call you courageous. That's how he identified the nine Little Rock children.”

Judge Davies died in 1996 at the age of 91. But through this building and this school, his achievements will never be forgotten.

Schmith: “He has left life, not my life, how can I believe he is dead who lives in my heart.”

Tomorrow, a rocking chair symposium at Bluestem in Moorhead, with members of the Little Rock 9, and Judge Davies role in the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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