Bloody campus — Two dead; 75 injured in brutal college rioting
Oxford, Miss. — UPI — Negro James Meredith, 29, registered today at the University of Mississippi and began attending classes on a campus littered with debris of a major riot that took two lives and injured at least 75 persons.
“It is not a happy occasion,” he said.
About 400 U.S. deputy marshals and 1,000 federal troops guarded the campus as the Negro crossed the segregation barriers of the 114-year-old school.
The campus was brought under military control early today but the rioting spread to downtown Oxford and at least one soldier was hurt in a barrage of rocks, timbers and pop bottles before the crowd was dispersed with tear gas and reinforcements were brought in. Meredith, whose determination to desegregate “Ole Miss” brought about a conflict that threatened to rock the federal union, walked solemnly to an American colonial history class at 9 a.m. to shouts of, “Nigger, nigger!” and, “Was it worth two deaths?”
He was accompanied to the classes by three deputy marshals and U.S. Department of Justice representative Ed Guthman.
The Negro was met at the registrar’s office by university registrar Robert B. Ellis who handed him a stack of forms. The historic occasion was concluded quietly.
Meredith, who caught a whiff of the tear gas that clouded the campus early today, rubbed his eyes occasionally.
President Kennedy, who caught only four hours sleep during the troubled night, was in close touch with the situation. His radio-television appeal to the students Sunday night failed to quell rioting that broke out when the campus and town learned that Meredith, turned away three times, had been brought into the campus.
The campus, littered today with burned out automobiles, spent tear gas grenades, broken glass and other assorted rubble, was under virtual martial law.
The normally sleepy college town of Oxford was in the same condition by noon today. Truckloads of troops roared toward Courthouse Square to put down a fresh outbreak of rioting that threatened to continue throughout the day.
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.