By Alyssa Schnugg
The Oxford Board of Aldermen has officially declared Oct. 1 to be James Meredith Day, in honor of the man who became the first Black student to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill read the Resolution on Tuesday at the Board’s regular meeting.
Meredith applied for admission to the University in January 1961. After almost a year of battling several measures to prevent his admission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Sept. 10, 1962, that Meredith was to be admitted to the university.
On September 30, 1962, a riot broke out on campus ending in the death of two bystanders, with 206 U.S. Marshals and soldiers wounded and 200 individuals arrested.
Meredith registered for his classes on Oct. 1, 1962. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in August 1963 and went on to earn his Bachelor’s of Law degree in 1968 from Columbia Law School.
“James Howard Meredith – a bold and compassionate civil rights activist, businessman, politician, author, changemaker, fearless leader, trailblazer and visionary – has forever left his mark on the University of Mississippi and the City of Oxford, Mississippi leaving a legacy of inspiring others to dream big, never give up and fight for their individual rights,” states the Resolution.
The Resolution will be read by Alderman Kesha Howell Atkinson next week during the “The Mission Continues: Building Upon the Legacy,” event of the University’s 60th anniversary of Meredith’s integration that will be held on Sept. 28 at the Gertrude Ford Center on campus.
The Board also read a Resolution declaring Sept. 28, as Good Neighbor Day. There will be events on the Square in front of City Hall where citizens can drive by and grab a free snack. There will also be activities for children by Oxford’s volunteer department, Stronger Together, in front of Town Hall.