Interview with Hodding Carter III
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

BUT THEN WHEN BARNETT DIDN'T BRING OUT THE STATE TROOPS AND IN EFFECT FEDERAL LAW PREVAILED, WAS IT SEEN AS A TREMENDOUS DEFEAT? AND IN OTHER WORDS, DID PEOPLE RALLY AFTER THAT, OR DID THEY…

Hodding Carter III:

They rallied after that. Anybody who wasn't associated with Barnett in the defiance was politically targeted and pretty well destroyed in the election of 1963. Paul Johnson got elected governor because of a motto which said you know, stand tall with Paul. He stood tall for Mississippi and his campaign picture was him jaw to jaw with the Marshal McShane who had been the chief marshal escorting Meredith to Ole Miss. That was the symbol, defiance. J.P. Coleman, no integrationist, but considered something of a moderate because when he was governor he had let the then Senator John Kennedy sleep in the governor's mansion in the 1950s, was crushed by Paul Johnson, a far lesser man in that gubernatorial campaign, precisely because of Ole Miss. But a lot of good legislators who had been among the few who resisted the Citizens' Council juggernaut of '59 to '63 were wiped out too. Guy in my home town, Joe Wroten, now a county judge, great man, gone. But plenty like him. No, the reaction in Mississippi was to further distance the state from reality in some ways, to make it politically even more difficult to people to speak out for moderation. And to see one black man at the University of Mississippi with Federal troops to make sure that he staged there safely—parenthetically, don't talk about the governor's failure to use the troops, they were nationalized right out from under him. I mean so there were no troops for him to use. I mean my old boss Cyrus Vance was the one who gave the order as secretary of the army to nationalize the, the guard at the time, so there was no national guard. But even so, I mean—