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Robert Kennedy Speaks Out on James Meredith

Jan. 21, 1963 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (left) said today that even if James Meredith (right) left the University of Mississippi, “it would not be a total loss” because his enrollment had demonstrated that Federal law would be enforced. Mr. Kennedy’s comment, made before rectors of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., followed his statement in an interview with U.S. News and World Report that Mr. Meredith would probably withdraw from the school. The Attorney General said in today’s address that Mr. Meredith’s withdrawal “would be a step backward” for integration in the South. But he foresaw no need for Federal forces, such as those used in Mr. Meredith’s enrollment, to enforce a Federal Court order for the enrollment of Harvey B. Gantt, a Negro, at Clemson College in South Carolina.

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