Interview with Erle Johnston
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

OK, WHAT DO YOU …

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

Let me just follow with something here. I wonder if Mr. Johnston could just tell us very briefly whether or not Governor Barnett was in fact on the telephone with the Kennedys in the days leading up to Old Miss in—especially on the night of the disturbances.

Erle Johnston:

Yes, Governor Barnett was on the telephone very often with not only the President but also the Attorney General because they were telling him on the telephone that Meredith was going to get into Old Miss. And several times, Governor Barnett managed to get it postponed. And he got it postponed because he said, "There's going to be some violence if he gets into the university, and we don't want violence." But finally the Kennedys kind of got out of patience, the way it turned out and they said that he was going to be there and there was going to be some marshals there and that's what exactly happened along with all these thousands of troops that came in to make sure that Meredith was in Old Miss and was not harmed.