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extraterrestrial

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James Meredith alone on his first day of class.

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As a Civil Rights Movement figure, writer, political adviser and Air Force veteran. In 1962, he became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, after the intervention of the federal government, an event that was a flashpoint in the Civil Rights Movement.

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On the evening of September 29, after State Senator George Yarbrough withdrew the State Highway Police, a riot broke out the following day. Whites opposing integration had been gathering at the campus.

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Despite the Kennedy administration's reluctance to use force, it ordered the nationalized Mississippi National Guard and federal troops to the campus.

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In the violent clashes which followed, two men were killed by gunshot wounds, and the white mob burned cars, pelted federal marshals with rocks, bricks and small arms fire, and damaged university property.

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The next day on October 1, 1962, after troops took control, Meredith became the first African-American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

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Meredith's admission is regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights in the United States. He persisted through harassment and extreme isolation to graduate on August 18, 1963, with a degree in political science.

 

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