Interview with William Simmons
QUESTION 50
INTERVIEWER:

DID YOU THEN PROPOSE TO RALLY AROUND THE CAUSE OF THE CITIZENS' COUNCIL WITH RENEWED VIGOR, OR DID YOU ALL TAKE A DIFFERENT STRATEGY, DIFFERENT TACTIC AFTER THAT? AFTER ALL THIS?

William Simmons:

After, after Old Miss uh there was a, a reaction, there was a state of shock and uh, yes, uh, a change in, in tactics, or a change in strategy was very necessary and indeed it did change. The change led to an emphasis on, we realized for one thing just how far the federal government would go. Many people thought they would not go that far, that they simply didn't have the stomach for using an airborne division of 32 thousand troops to subdue a state. But, that was, that was the case and the, a change in strategy was very necessary to one of more, uh, more subdued, less high profile uh activity and it, we began to understand then, what some of the consequences might be at the elementary and secondary levels. Bearing in mind that this event took place at the college level. We also uh, got documents that indicated how, just how far the federal government did intend to go at Old Miss, not just to put Meredith in, but to take an actual bed check of the dormitories to see how many people of which race were in which room, to be sure that there was no natural segregation in the dormitories.