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Gov. Barnett Again Thwarts Meredith Enrollment at Ole Miss

Sept. 25, 1962 - Gov. Ross R. Barnett (right), in open defiance of a Federal Court order, prevented James H. Meredith (left), a 29-year-old Negro, from enrolling today in the University of Mississippi. It marked the second time that he had thwarted execution of desegregation decrees of the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Supreme Court. Despite a restraining order issued against him earlier today by the Court of Appeals, Gov. Barnett blocked the doorway of the university trustees’ office in Jackson when Mr. Meredith appeared to register. Mr. Barnett first refused to accept a copy of a summons directing him to appear before the Court of Appeals in New Orleans. He then read a brief proclamation to Mr. Meredith and the Federal officials who accompanied him. They were John Doar, an official in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and James P. McShane, Chief U.S. Marshal. The proclamation ended with the statement that the Governor did “finally deny you admission to the University of Mississippi.” Mr. Meredith, who had come to Jackson from New Orleans, returned there tonight. A further showdown is expected tomorrow, when he is expected to go to the university campus at Oxford, 170 miles north of Jackson, in an attempt to begin classes.

#civilrights #history #OTD #1960s #MLK