We want YOU to fill this empty display case!
Today is the last day to vote for the first document to be displayed in this case when our new ‘Records of Rights” exhibit opens on December 10.
Which document would you like to see on display first?
- Equal Protection of the Laws: Joint Resolution for the 14th Amendment, 1868
- Lowering the Voting Age: Certification for the 26th Amendment, 1971
- Protecting Americans with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990
- Ending Segregation in the Armed Forces: Executive Order 9981, 1948
- Immigration Reform: Immigration Reform Act, 1965
Tell us what document you want to see: cast your vote now!
Yesterday we celebrated our veterans. But during World War II, one million African American men and the thousands of African American women were serving their country in racially segregated units.
In 1948, President Truman changed that by signing this landmark document.
This Executive Order called for equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces of the United States. Do you think it should be the first document to go display in our new “Records of Rights” exhibit? http://go.usa.gov/Djrh
Many years later, General Colin Powell would credit Truman for this move towards equality and civil rights:
“The military was the only institution in all of America—because of Harry Truman—where a young black kid, now twenty-one years old, could dream the dream he dared not think about at age eleven. It was the one place where the only thing that counted was courage, where the color of your guts and the color of your blood was more important than the color of your skin.”
Cast your vote for Executive Order 9981 to be displayed first in the new “Records of Rights” gallery. http://go.usa.gov/Djrh
“…it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country’s defense..”
Executive Order 9981, July 26, 1948, in which President Harry S. Truman bans the segregation of the Armed Forces
As one of several actions taken to meet the recommendations of the President’s Commission on Civil Rights, President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order on July 26, 1948, abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services. Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” The order also established an advisory committee to examine the rules, practices, and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality. There was considerable resistance to the executive order from the military, but by the end of the Korean conflict, almost all the military was integrated.
via Our Documents