James Meredith (1933– ) was a civil rights activist and the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. An Air Force veteran, Meredith applied as a transfer student to the University of Mississippi. He was rejected based solely on his race. In 1962, he was admitted to the university by federal court order. When he arrived to enroll that autumn, violence broke out. White students and nonstudents attacked Meredith and the federal forces assigned to protect him. The riots were put down by 5,000 US Army soldiers, and Meredith was able to enroll and attend classes. He graduated in 1963. Meredith continued his activism in the Civil Rights Movement, and in 1966 he survived an assassination attempt made during his March against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi.

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