Federal Courthouse

Trail Marker

2100 9th Street, Meridian, MS

The United States Post Office and Courthouse was built in 1933 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Meridian’s main post office occupies the lower floor, with federal courtroom facilities on the second. This was the setting for two of the most significant court actions in Civil Rights history.

In 1961, James Meredith filed his initial lawsuit with the district court, seeking to integrate the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Meredith, who wanted to transfer from Jackson State, was initially accepted. However, after the registrar learned of his race, his acceptance was withdrawn. Meredith filed suit, claiming discrimination. Although the district court ruled against him, he took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor. On October 1, 1962, James Meredith became the first Black person to enroll in classes at Ole Miss.

In 1967, the case of U.S. v. Price et al. came before the court. Eighteen Ku Klux Klan members were tried for violating the Civil Rights of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman. The three Civil Rights workers disappeared on June 21, 1964, after investigating a church that had been burned in neighboring Neshoba County. FBI agents had referred to their investigation as MIBURN or “Mississippi Burning.” The workers’ murdered bodies were found buried in an earthen dam 44 days later. Seven of the accused were convicted. It was the first time an all-white jury in Mississippi convicted a white person on Civil Rights charges.

Because the number of cases had steadily declined after the Civil Rights era, the federal courtroom was ordered closed in 2012.

Directions to next marker (Voter Registration): Continue down 9th Street to 21st/Constitution Avenue; turn right and continue to 5th Street; turn left on 5th Street; marker located immediately on left.

Scroll to Top