During Meredith’s life at the University of Mississippi, there were many acts of violence against him. The federal marshals had to protect him against raging crowds of people. Their resolve was tested at the Battle of Oxford when the crowds were attacking them with air thrown projectiles. They were able to show great courage and restraint by holding their ground without firing into the crowd. A marshal barely escaped death when the crowd threw a truck axle onto his jeep. Their actions were so incredible that an officer said “I saw men do things that night that would have earned them medal in wartime.” Although their superior officers recommended them for medals, the government withheld the honor. The government was afraid that public opinion would be against giving medals for an action that was against American citizens. The marshals may not have gotten medals but they were given the keys to the city of Oxford in 2002. According to the mayor of Oxford, “It was a victory for blacks … for whites,” “It was a victory for civil rights … for the nation.”

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