The South: Man in the Middle

In Bogalusa, La., a paper-mill town of 23,000 near the Mississippi border, gun-toting white and Negro toughs seemed ready to throw themselves into pitched battle against each other. That they had not actually begun open warfare was almost entirely because of the efforts of Louisiana's Democratic Governor John McKeithen—and, as so often happens to the peacemaker, McKeithen himself was under fire from both sides.

In an act that required considerable courage for a Southern Governor, McKeithen flew to Bogalusa to plead with Negro leaders for a 30-day cooling-off period. When he got there, an angry white...

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