In this WSB newsfilm clip from Jackson, Mississippi on September 25, 1962, African American student James Meredith exits a Cessna 220 and is escorted to a car by United States Marshals. The clip begins by showing the Cessna airplane. Meredith climbs out of the airplane and walks with federal marshals in white helmets to a waiting car. After Meredith gets in the car it drives away. African American James Meredith first applied to segregated University of Mississippi, or "Ole Miss," in January 1961. After his application was denied, Meredith, with the help of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, filed a federal lawsuit in May 1961. Following a series of court decisions and appeals, United States Supreme Court justice Hugo Black on September 10, 1962 ordered the university to admit Meredith; in response, Mississippi governor Ross Barnett threatened to close the university. Other state officials and members of the Board of Regents worked to obstruct Meredith's admission, causing the Fifth Circuit court of appeals to declare the university's Board of Trustees in contempt of court. On September 25, Meredith flew from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jackson, Mississippi and attempted fill the Fifth Circuit court order and register but was physically blocked by governor Barnett. Marshals escorted Meredith to the "Ole Miss" campus on September 30; in response, white students and citizens rioted, throwing brickbats, lead pipes, and Molotov cocktails, slashing Army truck tires, and burning the trucks' canvas tops. Federal marshals responded by firing tear gas and President Kennedy sent federal troops to the campus. Two people were killed during the riot and an estimated three hundred more were wounded. The Army National Guard remained on campus until Meredith's graduation on August 18, 1963.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of James Meredith, first African American student at the University of Mississippi, exiting an airplane in the company of federal marshals, Jackson, Mississippi, 1962 September 25, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0820, 47:05/47:23, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.