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Barnett Loses Support of Southern Governors

Oct. 1, 1962 - Governor Ross. R. Barnett (pictured) of Mississippi was finding scant sympathy among his colleagues of the Southern Governors’ Conference for his fight against and final capitulation to the supremacy of the Federal Government. The Mississippian’s chair was empty at the conference table in Hollywood, Fla., where the Governors of 16 Southern and border states have been in convention since Saturday. In the majority opinion, Gov. Barnett is an embarrassment to the South and to the nation. But few of those present were willing to express such opinions on the record. “There is no courage in what that fellow did,” one Governor told a reporter today. “People talk about Barnett’s courage in standing up against the Supreme Court and the President. There is no courage involved in making yourself a target when you know you are going to be shot down. That’s stupidity.” On the record, Gov. Bert Combs of Kentucky said: “Ross is dead wrong. He should stop playing Custer’s Last Stand and join us here.” The only voices so far heard in support of the Mississippi Governor have been those of Gov. Orval E. Faubus of Arkansas and Gov. John Patterson of Alabama.

#civilrights #history #OTD #1960s #MLK