Interview with Nicholas Katzenbach
QUESTION 13
INTERVIEWER:

WHEN JAMES MEREDITH WAS FINALLY REGISTERED, UH, HOW DID YOU FEEL, WAS THERE ANY SENSE OF VICTORY IN THAT?

Nicholas Katzenbach:

I think I did not have a real sense of victory when Meredith was registered because we had not wanted to have a riot, we had not wanted to use troops, we had wanted to accomplish this in the way that it ought to be accomplished uh, uh, and uh, it just wasn't. Uh, there is a world of difference between what happened at Old Miss and what happened at the University of Alabama, and the principle difference is that the administration at the University of Alabama, Frank Rose, was determined to make integration work. That was not true of the administration at uh, at Old Miss, so when we integrated the University of Alabama, before you knew it, that fall there were a hundred, a hundred and some, hundred and fifty black students there and there's great safety in numbers. You couldn't integrate Old Miss while, uh, with only one black, he had to be protected. Although not, I don't it was true of the administration, it was not true of the law school. Uh, and uh, I had been a professor of law and knew the dean of the law school, Bob Farley, very well and he said to me would you come over and talk to the law students? And I uh, I did. I went over and talked to the law students the day after the riot. And it was a reasonably hostile crowd, as one can imagine, but interestingly the faculty at the law school all agreed that with the constitutional principles that we were defending and with our, that we were right in what we did.