The Big Ten - Crucial Events in the Modern Civil Rights Movement - President Harry S Truman desegregates the armed forces - 1948

Truman Integrates the Military 0 Member Stories 0 Member Stories African American History American History American Presidents Assassinations Civil Rights Famous Historical Events Famous People Government History Law and Politics Social Studies The Kennedys

"Truman Integrates the Military", The Chicago Defender newspaper announced the historic de-segregation of the armed forces, Chicago Defender, Public Domain.

Blacks have volunteered for service in every war in America's history.  Whites discouraged or banned their participation based on a variety of reasons:  black men lacked discipline, patriotism, skills and courage. There was also tremendous fear that arming black men would result in a race war.  When black men were accepted, they were assigned the most menial and dangerous tasks, and denied the opportunity for glory on the battlefield.  They also faced tremendous racism and did not receive pay, supplies and working conditions equal to white soldiers.

On the eve of World War II the Army and Navy accepted black men in their ranks; the Army Air Corp and Marines did not.  With prodding, the Army Air Corp developed the Tuskegee Experiment in which a small number of black men were accepted for combat training.  In spite of a number of road blocks, the Tuskegee Airmen served with tremendous distinction.

In 1948 President Harry S Truman signed Executive Order 9981desegregating the armed forces, and guaranteeing equal opportunity for African Americans.


Original Release: May 28, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

1) Truman, Harry S, Executive Order 9981, National Archives, Jul/26/1948, Jun/04/2015, http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/?p=12889

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"President Harry S Truman desegregates the armed forces - 1948" AwesomeStories.com. May 28, 2015. Dec 11, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips