It was the evening of September 30, 1962 when Agence France-Presse reporter Paul Guihard arrived at the campus of the University of Mississippi. Tear gas choked the grounds as US marshals clashed with rock-throwing students and others opposed to the admission of the first African-American to the all-white school known as “Ole Miss.” Before the night was done, the 30-year-old Guihard would be dead, shot in the back by a bullet that pierced his heart. He was the only journalist known to have been killed during the civil rights movement which roiled the United States in the 1960s. His murder was never solved. Guihard’s death, and the stories of 12 American journalists who covered the violence surrounding the 1962 desegregation of the campus, are the subject of a new book, “We Believed We Were Immortal,” by Dr. Kathleen Wickham, a professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi. The book, published by Yoknapatawpha Press, was released on Saturday to mark the 55th anniversary of Guihard’s murder and the rioting at the University of Mississippi against the enrollment of James Meredith, a black US Air Force veteran. Wickham, in an interview with AFP, said she was drawn to Guihard’s story because it has largely been forgotten. “I’ve been personally offended that a reporter was killed and nothing was written about it,” she said. “I wanted him to be recognized.” She was also determined to try to figure out what happened that night to Guihard on the “Ole Miss” campus, where hundreds of US marshals clashed with several thousand opponents of integration until US troops were sent in to restore order. “I’ve worked on it as an investigation to try to determine who murdered him,” she said. “Because someone out there knows what happened.” The Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice closed its investigation into Guihard’s death in 2011 without filing any charges and Wickham, despite her intensive digging, was unable to reach any definitive conclusions. Published in Daily Times, October 1st 2017.