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Meredith Faces Hostility on Mississippi Campus

Oct. 4, 1962 - Twenty-nine-year-old Negro Air Force veteran James H. Meredith went to classes today at the University of Mississippi at Oxford for the fourth day without major incident. However, there was unpleasantness and, at times, open hostility displayed toward him by his classmates. Mr. Meredith is the first member of his race to be admitted to a white public school in Mississippi. His escort of deputy U.S. marshals relaxed security measures somewhat and permitted him to walk from an automobile to classrooms alone. A Justice Department officials said this was done to give the student “maximum exposure” within safe limits and thus win toleration, if not acceptance, for him. Mr. Meredith was escorted through the university library this afternoon, and tonight he had his first meal in the cafeteria. His tray had already been prepared when he entered with three deputy marshals, so he did not have to wait in line. After the student and the marshals sat down, three co-eds at a nearby table got up and left. Mr. Meredith toyed with his food and drank a glass of milk. Ten minutes later, he walked out to a waiting car and was driven back to Baxter Hall, the dormitory in which he and his guards share a two-room suite. Twenty-five students who had gathered in front of the cafeteria shouted foul epithets at him, apparently not inhibited by the presence of a number of girls.

#civilrights #history #OTD #1960s #MLK #mississippi #olemiss