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Obama’s re-election sparks race riot at Ole Miss

James Meredith is blocked from entering the University of Mississippi in 1962.

Reports the October 1, 1962 New York Times:

“A force of more than 3,000 soldiers and guardsmen and 400 deputy United States marshals fired rifles and hurled tear-gas grenades to stop the violent demonstrations.

Throughout the day more troops streamed into Oxford. Tonight a force approaching 5,000 soldiers and guardsmen, along with the Federal marshals, maintained an uneasy peace in this town of 6,500 in the northern Mississippi hills.”

In the end, President Kennedy sent an army of 20,000, and Mississippi National Guard soldiers, to restore law and order. Meredith graduated in 1963 with a degree in political science. Six years later, Meredith led a march against fear, where he vowed to walk from Memphis Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., inspiring Blacks to register to vote along the way. A scant 48 hours into his walk, a sniper shot him, but Meredith survived. Later, he began sharing his experience on the lecture circuit.

At the Obama celebration in Chicago, one of the supporters enthusiastically waved a sign that read, ‘We Have Overcome.’

Almost–but there’s much work to do.


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