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U.S. Marshals and National Guardsmen Battle Rioters at Oxford, Miss.

Oct. 1, 1962 - At the University of Mississippi at Oxford this morning, a small detachment of Mississippi National Guardsmen went to the aid of a besieged force of 300 deputy marshals in the university administration building. The marshals were under the command of top Justice Department officials, including Nicholas Katzenbach, Deputy Attorney General. For a time, it appeared that the marshals would not be able to hold the building, which is called the Lyceum. But barrage after barrage of tear gas discouraged the rioters, and they began to break up. Automobiles loaded with whites, some from Alabama, began pulling into the University’s Oxford campus shortly after the state highway patrol withdrew from the campus entrances early last night. Shortly thereafter, the mall in front of the main building had the appearance of a battlefield as students and adults massed behind Confederate battle flags and charged repeatedly toward U.S. marshals. Travel to and from the campus was extremely dangerous. Roving bands of students halted cars and questioned their occupants to determine if they were friend or foe. Federal troops were bombarded with bricks and sticks, and obscenities were shouted at the men.


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