Interview with Erle Johnston
QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARIZE THE FEELINGS OF WHITE MISSISSIPPIANS FOLLOWING THE OLD MISS RIOTS ABOUT THE, THE COMING IN OF FEDERAL TROOPS?

Erle Johnston:

The Saturday night before Meredith got into Old Miss on Sunday evening, Governor Barnett was presented at the Old Miss-Kentucky football game at the Mississippi Memorial Stadium in Jackson, and I don't think that any office holder in the history of Mississippi ever got a greater ovation than Governor Barnett, than the [unintelligible] Governor Barnett did on that particular night. Of course, everybody was, was pepped up. Governor Barnett was going to find a way to keep Meredith out of Old Miss. They just had the confidence in him. But then, of course, after the incident occurred and after the riot and after the deaths, why, a lot of people of course were very remorseful about what happened. There were some of course who still were bitter about Meredith getting into Old Miss, but all of them were regretful that there'd been any deaths. In fact, I think I can tell you, later, it was found out that most of those people on the Old Miss Campus were not Mississippians, they were outsiders who had come in just to see what kind of trouble they could stir up.