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Kennedy Delivers Televised Address on Mississippi Crisis

Sept. 30, 1962 - President Kennedy appealed tonight to the students at the University of Mississippi and the people of Mississippi to comply peacefully with Federal law and bring the desegregation crisis to an end. “The eyes of the nation and all the world are upon you and upon all of us,” he said, “and the honor of your university and state are in the balance.” The President spoke to the nation on television less than an hour after Governor Ross Barnett pulled back from his all-out defiance of Federal authority. The Governor indicated he would no longer attempt to block the enrollment of James H. Meredith, a Negro, at the University of Mississippi. Mr. Kennedy expressed cautious hope that the great Federal-state conflict, the gravest since the Civil War, was coming to a peaceful end. But he qualified his optimism and made clear that the Government was waiting anxiously to see how Mississippi officials and citizens behaved. There was still great concern in Washington tonight about violence at the university in Oxford.

#civilrights #history #OTD #1960s #JFK