The white people stared stiffly ahead, without expression. The few Negroes in the audience watched somberly from small, self-conscious islands.
Except for a few glances, neither group seemed to look at the other. Together, under the tall oaks, they sat in awkward silence and watched what neither had ever seen before.
James Howard Meredith, a slight man of 30, became the first Negro to graduate from the University of Mississippi in its 115-year history. Without incident, he received what some are calling the $5 million diploma, that being the estimated cost of the soldiers and U.S. marshals it took to get and keep Meredith at Ole Miss.
The scene Sunday bore no resemblance to the night he entered, last Sept. 30, in an explosion of violence and death. Few people at the graduation at the graduation were aware of the 16 marshals standing inconscpicously on the fringes of the crowd.
-- Saul Pett, Associated Press. Full story: @
Photo by Associated Press
* "Meredith's Reactions On Final Day at Mississippi U Chronicled" (Associated Press, August 17): @
* "Meredith: First Negro Graduate of Ole Miss" (Associated Press, August 19): @
* "Mississippi Gives Meredith Degree" (New York Times, August 19): @
* Letter from Meredith to Attorney General Robert Kennedy (September 5, from JFK Library): @
* "I Can't Fight Alone" (Look magazine, April 19, 1963): @
* Earlier post on Meredith's enrollment (September-October, 1962): @