Proclamation 3542—Unlawful Obstructions of Justice and Combinations in the State of Alabama
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas on June 5, 1963, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama entered an order enjoining the Governor of the State of Alabama, together with all persons acting in concert with him, from blocking or interfering with the entry of certain qualified Negro students to the campuses of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, Alabama, and from preventing or seeking to prevent by any means the enrollment or attendance at the University of Alabama of any person entitled to enroll in or attend the University pursuant to the order of the court of July 1, 1955, in the case of Lucy v. Adams; and
Whereas both before and after the entry of the order of June 5, 1963, the Governor of the State of Alabama has declared publicly that he intended to oppose and obstruct the orders of the United States District Court relating to the enrollment and attendance of Negro students at the University of Alabama and would, on June 11, 1963, block the entry of two such students to a part of the campus of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa; and
Whereas I have requested but have not received assurances that the Governor and forces under his command will abandon this proposed course of action in violation of the orders of the United States District Court and will enforce the laws of the United States in the State of Alabama; and
Whereas this unlawful obstruction and combination on the part of the Governor and others against the authority of the United States will, if carried out as threatened, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in the State of Alabama by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings; and
Whereas this unlawful combination opposes the execution of the laws of the United States and threatens to impede the course of justice under those laws;
Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Chapter 15 of Title 10 of the United States Code, particularly sections 332, 333 and 334 thereof, do command the Governor of the State of Alabama and all other persons engaged or who may engage in unlawful obstructions of justice, assemblies, combinations, conspiracies or domestic violence in that State to cease and desist therefrom.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this eleventh day of June in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-seventh.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
By the President:
Secretary of State
Note: On the same day the President also issued Executive Order 11111 directing the Secretary of Defense to take all appropriate steps to enforce the laws of the United States in Alabama, including the calling into active service of units of the National Guard (28 F.R. 5709; 3 CFR, 1963 Supp.).
John F. Kennedy, Proclamation 3542—Unlawful Obstructions of Justice and Combinations in the State of Alabama Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236674