In the fall of 1962, a young undergraduate at the University of Mississippi was a witness to history.
He was President of the SAE Fraternity, Vice President of the Interfraternity Council, and Treasurer of the student body.
As a student body treasurer, he managed the money collected through student fees and sponsored events such as campus concerts and train trips to Baton Rouge for the Ole Miss-LSU game.
On Fraternity Row, he was always trying to catch someone painting the SAE Lions. The punishment for any culprits he caught was for members of the SAE Fraternity to shave the offender’s head.
He excelled academically and became close to a number of his professors, particularly in the English and History Departments.
It was halcyon days for the young man and his fellow students who enjoyed a campus rich in literary tradition and produced Rhodes Scholars, championship football teams, and Miss Americas.
And then, on September 2, 1962, another young man by the name of James Meredith sought to enroll at the University of Mississippi. He was black, and he found the entrance to the campus registration hall blocked. Rioting soon erupted and Attorney Marshalls came to the scene. President John F. Kennedy then sent military police troops from the Mississippi National Guard and officials from the U.S. Border Patrol to keep the peace.
Our young undergraduate would later recall that once this happened the Ole Miss campus became “less provincial, and it seemed like everyone didn’t know each other as well.” He also recalls modestly that during all of this he “tried to uphold what (he) had learned at home – behave yourself and don’t be involved in stuff like the riot.”
After graduating from Ole Miss, the young man served in the United States Marine Corps, and was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He then came home, married his Ole Miss sweetheart (Judy) and went to Vanderbilt Law School.
He has enjoyed a distinguished legal career over the past 47 years.
His name, of course, is Kim Johnson, and he is now an LT senior shareholder. He is featured in a new book, A Time Remembered: Ole Miss, 1945-1970. The book has recently been published by Nautilus Publishing of Oxford, and can now be purchased on Amazon.com.
Readers will enjoy the memories shared by this remarkable man.
Mr. Johnson has been with the firm since 1970. His practice has been focused primarily on civil litigation in federal and state courts defending professional liability claims. Mr. Johnson has tried many jury cases and takes pride in providing superior legal counsel to his clients.
Mr. Johnson served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps with service in Vietnam in 1966.