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RFK on Mississippi: Federal Government Will Do “Whatever Is Necessary”

Sept. 26, 1962 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy reiterated tonight that the Federal Government would do “whatever is necessary” to carry out court orders in Mississippi. “The situation is serious,” he told reporters. “The question of Federal troops is the same as it has been. That is, we’ll use whatever is necessary to do the job.” Officials made clear yesterday they were prepared to use troops in Mississippi if needed and that this might be soon. The question of what will be needed is now expected to become clear after a hearing of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans Friday. The court has ordered Gov. Ross R. Barnett of Mississippi to show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt. The Governor has openly defied the Appeal Court’s orders that James H. Meredith, a Negro, be admitted to the University of Mississippi.


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