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Tensions Mount in Mississippi

Sept. 26, 1962 - Chief U.S. Marshal James P. McShane (third from right) and Mississippi Lieut. Gov. Paul B. Johnson (with fedora) scuffled repeatedly today near the main entrance to the University of Mississippi in Oxford as state officials again prevented the registration of James H. Meredith (right). The incident came as the marshal sought to shoulder his way through 20 unarmed but resisting highway patrolmen to enroll Mr. Meredith. It marked the third time that Gov. Ross R. Barnett and his aides had flouted the desegregation orders of the Federal District Court, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Supreme Court. Following today’s encounter, Mr. Meredith, 29, seemed undismayed as he climbed into a Border Patrol plane with Mr. McShane and John Doar, first assistant in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “At least I’m getting in a lot of flying time,” the Air Force veteran said. The three were flown to Memphis to await the Kennedy Administration’s next move in its efforts to resolve one of the most serious Federal-state conflicts since the Civil War.


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