Interview with John Doar


John Doar:

Well during, at the time that James Meredith was about to try to enter the University, uh, I was in Hattiesburg in connection with a voter case uh, against the registrar of Forest count. And, uh, I was before three Court of Appeals judges, who, when the issue was whether or not the registrar should be put in contempt, um, James Meredith's and another lawyer from the Justice department had gone to the University of Mississippi and had been met there by the governor and been told that he wasn't going to be registered, and, uh, I got a call from Burke Marshall, and he said that the Attorney General wanted me to go to Missis—to New Orleans to meet James Merediths and then to accompany him to the University because they were going to try to register him again. And at the same time they were moving legally to get orders against various officials of the state not to interfere with that registration. And, so I flew to, to New Orleans and met James Merediths and then several days later we went to Jackson to try to register at the, uh, State office building, at the office of the Board of Regents. James McShane, the Chief U.S. Marshal was with me, and the three of us flew up in a small border patrol plane from New Orleans, and landed at the Jackson airport and took a car into the S-State office building, and went up and tried to register there, but was again barred by the governor of the state. And then we went back to New Orleans and then flew to Memphis, and made several aborted trips to try to get into the University, and finally, on a Sunday afternoon, which this must, may have been ten days later, or five days later, I can't remember, uh, we went into the University, James Meredith and I did, and, and into a dormitory quarters there, uh, by arrangement with the uh, officials at the University, and then I lived with James Meredith for the next three to four weeks.