Bill Minor: Eastland held sway over Miss. politics for decades
Two biographies of legendary Mississippi Democratic politician Jim Eastland have emerged in recent months. Significantly, neither was written by a state native, resident or contemporary of Eastland.
For the benefit of millennials, Eastland, otherwise known as “Big Jim,” held sway over Mississippi politics for four decades as a U.S. senator from the late 1940s to latter 1970s….
…Although they served together for years in the Senate, Eastland and John Stennis were never very close. Stennis took the scholarly, statesman path while Eastland remained the premiere politician. At the end, however, Eastland confirmed that he used his influence with Ross Barnett, then seen as a hero for opposing admission of the first black to Ole Miss, to keep him from running against Stennis in 1964.