Interview with Hodding Carter III
QUESTION 13
INTERVIEWER:

OK, MOVING TO OLE MISS IN ‘62 WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INTERVENED WITH THE TROOPS, IN MEREDITH FINALLY GOT ADMITTED. LIVES WERE LOST AND WHITE LIVES WERE LOST AND THERE WERE A LOT OF FEELINGS RUNNING HIGH IN THE STATE. WHAT WOULD YOU, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE REACTION TO THAT WHOLE INCIDENT AMONG MISSISSIPPIANS? OR OTHER SOUTHERNERS, I GUESS.

Hodding Carter III:

I, yeah, well, I was running the paper as of that fall and writing the editorials as I had been since ‘59, but I was effectively running it as of that fall. Dad had gone off to Tulane as writer-in-residence, and I wrote a series of editorials leading up to that September 30th night. And at one point, when there had been the second back down by the U.S. Marshals and Meredith and their attempts to put Meredith into Ole Miss, when he had gone to the university once—he had gone down the Jackson once and both times had been repulsed—I called up John Doar. I said, "Johnny, don't you understand you're going to have to put in troops? These people think it's a second Civil War and this time they think they're gonna win." And that was the atmosphere. There was the sense that we are going to back them down. We've got a governor who's not afraid to stand up to them. We're organized, they're wrong. And all we have to do is show resolve and we'll beat them. And that's the way the popular attitude was in the white community, by a large number of people.