Today in History: Federal State Crisis Transpires
On this day September 13, 1962, Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett defied the federal government in impassioned speech on statewide radio-television hookup, saying he would “interpose” the authority of the state between the University of Mississippi and federal judges, who had ordered the admission of James H. Meredith.
Barnett said, “There is no case in history where the Caucasian race has survived social integration.”
He promised to go to jail if necessary to prevent integration at the state university.
His defiance set the stage for the gravest federal state crisis since the Civil War.