1962 April 3

Defense Dept. Orders Racial Integration of all Military Reserves – But Not the National Guard


President Harry Truman had desegregated the U.S. armed services on July 26, 1948. His order  did not cover the Reserves or the National Guard, however. The Defense Department on this day corrected that problem with regard to the Reserves and ordered them racially integrated. National Guard units, however, were still not covered. Although some states began integrating National Guard units in 1947, full integration did not come until the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The issue of whether the federal government or the states control state National Guard units arose again in 2013, when several states refused to comply with Pentagon policy that same-sex spouses of military personnel were entitled to military identification cards.

On June 23, 1955, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, the most vigorous civil rights advocate in Congress at the time, offered an amendment that would bar funds to state National Guard units in those state where the Guard was not racially integrated.

Learn more: Martha Derthick, The National Guard in Politics (1965)

Learn more: Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960 – 1972 (1990)

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!