James Meredith, the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss"). The school was segregated and white-only. The Supreme Court said he could attend. The Governor and state legislature said he could not and tossed up various "Jim Crow" roadblocks to his admittance.
It finally came down to a shoving match between President Kennedy, the school, the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. Kennedy, and Meredith, won out. A mob formed of white students and segregationists brought in to protest started a riot on the school campus which lasted several days and in which an US Army Maj. Gen and his staff were attacked and two men died.
Meredith attended the school and graduated with a degree in political science. However, during his time at the school he was subject to constant harassment and profound social isolation.
In 1966 Meredith organized a solo march from Memphis, Tenn to Jackson, Miss. On the second day he was ambushed by Aubrey James Norvell, who shot Meredith with a shotgun. Meredith was taken to hospital while local civil rights leaders vowed to continue the march in his name. By the time they reached Jackson the march was over 15,000 strong.
Norvell, who was photographed at the scene of the crime, served 18-months of a 5-year prison sentence.