The 1962 University of Mississippi Riots That Changed The World

Integrating Ole Miss did not happen easily, although accidentally. (getty)

The 1962 riots at the University of Mississippi campus marked a turning point for racial equality in the region. For a state that featured the confederate emblem on their state flag well into the 21st century, progress came slowly. Nevertheless, the enrollment of James H. Meredith due to clerical oversight set off a chain of events that rocked Ole Miss to its core. A showdown between President Kennedy and Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, highlighted by a fiery call to arms before a football game, ended with two dead and hundreds injured.

Angry segregationists clashed with U.S Marshals, the Mississippi National Guard, and Army troops. Despite the mass violence, Meredith’s enrollment proceeded, marking the historic integration of the University of Mississippi.