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Ole Miss Student Harassed After Eating with Meredith, Leaves Campus

Nov. 20, 1962 - A University of Mississippi freshman who ate with James H. Meredith (pictured right) last Thursday has left the campus. The student, Craig Knobles, of Meridian, Miss., is not expected to return, his roommate, William Temple, said today. Mr. Knobles and Mr. Temple, both 18-year-old freshmen, were among 7 students who dined with Mr. Meredith, the university’s only Negro student, Thursday night. Mr. Knobles, a diminutive youth majoring in classics, was described as an outstanding student and an outspoken opponent of segregation at the university. Mr. Temple said Mr. Knobles had received threatening and abusive telephone calls while at Meridian, but neither he nor Mr. Knobles had been physically attacked. Mr. Temple said he had no intention of withdrawing and did not believe other students who dined with Mr. Meredith would either. Mr. Meredith was enrolled on Oct. 1 after a night of rioting in which two persons were killed. Since then, he has been largely ostracized by the student body, although faculty members have occasionally joined him at his table in the cafeteria. He is still guarded by U.S. marshals. Mr. Temple said the seven, believing that “it is not right to treat another human being that way,” had invited Mr. Meredith to dine with them. Later that evening, a group of about 50 students jeered the two freshmen when they returned to the dormitory, Howry Hall. Shortly after that, a group of students entered their room. A record-player was damaged, and records and dirty laundry were thrown about. “N****r lover” was written with shoe polish on a corridor wall outside the room. Later that night, Leston L. Love, dean of students, urged the two to leave the campus for the weekend. Mr. Temple said the six remaining members of the group, one of whom is a young woman, would eat with Mr. Meredith again.


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