September 20, 1962

James Meredith Barred from Entering the University of Mississippi

On this day in 1962, African American James Meredith was blocked by state officials and violent mobs when he attempted to register for classes at the University of Mississippi, which was all-white until that time.

Meredith had previously obtained a federal court order to allow him to register; however, he was only able to enroll after the Kennedy administration sent in federal troops.

For more information about James Meredith, explore his American Experience profile.

Image: James Meredith’s Letter to the Registrar, University of Mississippi (Library of Congress)