Easley brought one man and six women to the Executive Mansion on Wednesday. The black children entered white public schools in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem in September 1957.
North Carolina did not immediately comply to the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering that public schools be integrated. Easley said state officials took three years to determine how to carry out the court's order.
Easley issued a proclamation in honor of their actions and said their bravery changed society and education forever in North Carolina.