Interview with Jan Robertson
QUESTION 18
INTERVIEWER:

UM, AND THEN, IF YOU WOULD TELL US WHERE, TELL US, YOU WERE JUST TELLING ME AGAIN WHAT PEOPLE WERE THINKING ABOUT.

Jan Robertson:

Alright. It was a very strong emotional response. Uh, it was just this Mississippi and Old Miss against the world. Uh, they're not going to tell us what to do. We're not going to be pushed around. I think that was the governing emotion and, and reasoning behind it. It was a gut level response. And it was for, for those who came on the campus from all over. I mean from surrounding states. It just happened that Old Miss happened to be the battleground. Uh, and this was the chance to fight for states rights for the southern way of life and uh for all those people that you know, that just wanted to fight back, they chose Old Miss as the place to do it. Uh, before it was over, there were a small majority, a small minority really of students who were there, uh, but people from all over, they had been called in, there were some of the radio stations in Mississippi and in Alabama, that it said go to the Old Miss campus. You know fight, you know for our way of life, don't let them shove us around. Uh, and they came. And they came, they came ready to fight. Uh, we had a member of the business staff that came… [overlap]

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

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Jan Robertson:

The day after the riot, I remember getting up and going in to brush my teeth in the sorority house and there was a ravine behind the house and I looked down and there were men in military uniforms encamped there. I was very relieved to see them there because it had been a very frightening night. You heard the sound of gunfire, uh, but you really didn't know what was going on. Most people were back in their dormitories or their fraternity or sorority houses. Um, there was tear gas everywhere. You, most people just really didn't go out. There were a few classes that met and I went to, I tried to go to one, but the tear gas was so bad you couldn't, you couldn't stay there. There was this kind of a stunned silence. You saw very few people out on the campus, very few students or faculty. A lot of people went home. Uh, their parents wanted them to get home. You didn't know what on earth was going on. Uh, but at that particular time you could believe anything could happen. Uh, there was, you know there was some anger, but there was just this stunned disbelief that this had happened on our campus and you weren't really sure what had happened if you, you know, hadn't been there.