National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1947-1954: We struggle to preserve freedom in a dangerous world

July 26, 1948
Truman ends segregation in the military

New recruits at Montford Point

Discrimination and segregation in the Armed Forces…is a grave threat…to the internal stability of our nation. Segregation becomes all the more important at a time when the United States should be assuming moral leadership in the world.
–A. Philip Randolph,
Civil Rights leader

The fight for freedom abroad has led to renewed demands by black Americans for justice at home.

President Truman wants to guarantee equal access to education, decent housing and jobs. But Congress refuses to act, and the President won’t push to pass civil rights laws.

Even so, Truman’s been using his executive authority to move ahead. Today he took the boldest step yet. Executive Order 9981, signed today, will end segregation in the armed forces.

Read about it in the New York times

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