June 11, 1963:
In a symbolic show of segregation, Gov. George Wallace (D) stands in the doorway at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa to prevent the campus from allowing the enrollment of two black students, only to give way upon the arrival of Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and other U.S. officials. President Kennedy had signed an executive order federalizing the Alabama National Guard. Before yielding, Wallace gives a lengthy speech decrying the intrusion of the federal government into a states rights issue.
Later in the day, Kennedy meets with congressional Republican leaders about his civil rights proposals. Senate GOP leader Everett Dirksen says he expects a civil rights bill will be passed this year. But Sen. Richard Russell (D-GA), a leader of the Southern opposition to civil rights, says he will filibuster any such bill.
The next day, on June 12, Medgar Evers, the leader of the Jackson, Miss. branch of the NAACP, is shot to death in Jackson.
Flashback Friday is a weekly feature on Political Junkie.
Sign up for our weekly mailing list at email@example.com.