University of Mississippi

Table of Contents


  1. 60th Anniversary of Integration Walking Tour

    Walk in the footsteps of James Meredith as the University of Mississippi honors and remembers actions that took place on campus during the fall 1962.


    1. The Lyceum

      The oldest structure on the University of Mississippi campus (completed in 1848), the Lyceum has housed offices and classrooms and served as a hospital where both Union and Confederate wounded were treated during
      the Civil War. Today it is the university’s main administration building.
      On the evening of Sept. 30, 1962, the Lyceum served as headquarters for federal officials as the crowd laid siege to the building, hurling metal pipes, bricks and Molotov cocktails at the marshals ringing the structure. Many of the 300 injured that night were treated in the halls inside the building.
      The marshals began firing tear gas at about 8 p.m. to drive the crowd back. Later that night, unidentified snipers began firing at the marshals. The scars of that violent night remain on the columns at the Lyceum’s front entrance. The pockmarks can be seen on the inside of the far right column about 14 feet up and at the same height on the inside of the center right column.
    2. The Circle

      As the Mississippi Highway Patrol, which had been given conflicting orders, watched passively, the crowd continued to assault the marshals, slash tires, set fire to parked cars and vandalize university buildings. The state police no longer were preventing people from entering the campus.
      Armed white supremacists from throughout the region, stirred up by defiant words from Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett, descended on the campus and soon outnumbered students, most of whom did not participate in the rioting. A rumor (which proved to be untrue) spread that a popular female student had been killed, further agitating the mob that filled the Circle.
      Several students circulated through the crowd pleading for calm. It was reported that one student climbed onto the base of the flagpole urging the crowd to stop the violence. Hecklers drove him away. Fifty yards to the east at the former location of the Confederate Monument (it was moved to a Civil War cemetery on campus on July 14, 2020), the Right Rev. Duncan Gray Jr., then-rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, appealed to
      the mob’s conscience. He, too, was driven away by their anger.
    3. Shoemaker Hall

      In 1962, Shoemaker Hall — a science laboratory and classroom building — was under construction. The rioters used many of the bricks, pipes and other construction materials from the site as weapons. At about 11 p.m., Ray Gunter, 23, an Oxford resident, was watching the conflict with a friend from atop a pile of construction debris. The crowd suddenly surged toward them, and, as Gunter turned to leave, he was struck in the head by a bullet and died. The violence continued to intensify. Earlier that night, a convoy of Mississippi National Guardsmen from the Oxford armory crossed the University Avenue bridge, where they were met by an angry mob that showered them with bricks and bats. They pushed on to the Lyceum to support the marshals and were later joined by more guardsmen and regular U.S. Army troops. By the end of the next day, almost 30,000 combat troops were deployed to Oxford.
    4. Site of Paul Guihard's Death

      A reporter for the French news organization Agence France-Presse, Paul Guihard, 30, was one of several hundred reporters who arrived in Oxford to cover Meredith’s enrollment. At about 9 p.m., students heard Guihard moaning and found him at this location in some bushes. He had been shot in the back at close range and died soon after. No one ever came forward to identify his killer(s).
    5. Civil Rights Monument

      The idea for a civil rights monument on the Ole Miss campus grew out of discussions in a graduate folklore class in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Engraved at the top of the monument are the words Courage, Knowledge, Perseverance and Opportunity. The monument also features a statue of a young James Meredith striding purposefully toward the center of the university. The civil rights monument is intended as a place for people to pause and reflect on the words spoken by former Mississippi Gov. William Winter at its dedication ceremony: “This is a marker that tells us not only where we have been, but where we need to be going.”
      The Meredith sculpture is by Oxford artist and Ole Miss graduate Rod Moorhead. The monument was designed by James H. Eley, FAIA, of Eley Associates/Architects, and was dedicated on Oct. 1, 2006, 44 years to the day that Meredith successfully enrolled to take classes.
    6. Baxter Hall

      Now the campus telecommunications center, Baxter Hall in 1962 was a men’s residence hall. When Meredith was brought to the campus, he was taken here to spend the night under guard, out of sight and almost out of earshot of the events in the Circle. It was here that Meredith lived during his time as a student.
    7. Bondurant Hall

      Meredith attended his first class, Colonial American History, on Oct. 1 in Bondurant Hall. That classroom (then Grad 29) is now C208. Meredith also took a French class in Bondurant in Grad 25E, which is now E203, a faculty office.
    8. Peabody Hall

      On his first day as an Ole Miss student, Meredith went to this building, where he was enrolled in a mathematics class in Peabody “15.” It is now Peabody 311 and used as faculty offices.
    9. Silver Pond

      The late James W. Silver, a professor of history at the university from 1936 to 1964, was honored with the dedication of Silver Pond, a body of water near the intersection of Sorority Row and West Jackson Avenue. Following the admission of Meredith, Silver offered support and friendship to the embattled student. He published Mississippi: The Closed Society in 1964, just two years after witnessing Meredith’s turbulent admission to the university. Silver was later forced to leave the University as a result of his support of Meredith and civil rights in Mississippi.
    10. Paul Guihard Memorial Bench

      Located between Farley Hall and the Honors College, the bench was erected in 2009 by the UM chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists with funds provided by SPJ through a campus chapter grant.
      Image sourced from Wikipedia Commons.
    11. Society of Professional Journalists Historic Plaque

      The Society of Professional Journalists designated campus a national historic site in journalism in honor of Paul Guihard and the more than 300 reporters who were on campus to cover Meredith’s enrollment. The UM site
      was the 100th such designation by SPJ. One plaque is located in front of Farley Hall with a second plaque housed inside the building.