Interview with John McLaurin
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

NOW THAT DAY IN JACKSON WHEN GOVERNOR BARNETT PERSONALLY STOPPED JAMES MEREDITH FROM ENROLLING, READ ACROSS THE NATION. COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT AND WHERE YOU WERE?

John McLaurin:

Yes, all right. A few days before the big event occurred on Sunday, Governor Barnett set himself up as registrar of the university in the Wolfolk state office building and he relieved the registrar, Mr. Ellis and my job was to have Mr. Ellis upstairs and entertain him and have him away from where chief marshal MacShane and James Meredith were going to enter and Governor Barnett would confront them as registrar. So representative Russell Fox and I were a few floors above and we had Mr. Ellis, regular registrar for Old Miss there and we just talked to him for about an hour uh to keep his attention up there and not down where he could register James Meredith. Now, when James Meredith and Marshall MacShane appeared Governor Barnett said now which one of you gentlemen is Mr. Meredith? And that story has been told many times since.