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Federal Troops Likely in Mississippi

Sept. 25, 1962 - The Federal Government is prepared to send troops into Mississippi to enforce Federal court orders to admit a Negro, James H. Meredith, to the state university. In the face of continued defiance by Gov. Ross R. Barnett, officials all but decided tonight that there was no way to uphold Federal law except by military force. They said they expected to reach that fateful decision within a few days. Airborne troops will probably be among those sent. A sizable number could be assembled in Mississippi within 24 hours of any order. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (pictured) had hoped to avoid at all costs military force in the battle to have Mr. Meredith admitted to the university. The Justice Department has also sought to avoid a direct confrontation with Gov. Barnett. It obtained contempt-of-court citations against university officials in the hope that a direct move against the Governor, with all the political dangers that would entail, could be avoided. But today’s action by Gov. Barnett in again blocking Mr. Meredith’s attempt to register and in refusing to recognize a court order directed to him personally made action against him inevitable.

#civilrights #history #OTD #1960s #MLK #RFK #JFK