President Kennedy Addresses the Nation
"Mr. James Meredith is now in residence on the campus of the University of Mississippi"
On May 31, 1961, James H. Meredith filed suit in the U.S. district court against the University of Mississippi, claiming that he had been denied admission because of his race. On June 25, 1962, more than a year after he had initially applied to the university, the U.S. Fifth Circuit court handed down its decision. James Meredith was to be allowed to attend the University of Mississippi.
Meredith’s legal victory was challenged. Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett proclaimed that the State of Mississippi would not conform to the federal court decision. The U.S. Government would not tolerate the defiance of the State of Mississippi. On September 30, 1962, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order stating that justice was not going to be obstructed by any person or state. In this speech, Kennedy reaffirmed the supremacy of the federal courts over the state courts in settling constitutional issues.
University of Mississippi Radio and Television Speech September 30, 1962