1948 January 7

President Truman Promises Civil Rights Message

 

In his State of the Union Address on this day, President Harry Truman promised to send Congress a separate Civil Rights message based on the report of his President’s Committee on Civil Rights, which had been released on October 29, 1947. Truman delivered his legislative proposal to Congress on February 2, 1948. Congress, dominated by southern segregationists, did not act on any of his proposals.

Despite the logjam in Congress, Truman and the Democratic national party took the first important steps on behalf of civil rights. On July 14, 1948, the Democratic Party adopted a strong civil rights plank in its party Platform. The plank caused the segregationist Southern Democrats to leave the party and create the independent States’ Rights Party, committed to racial segregation, also on July 14, 1948. More important, President Truman by executive order on  July 26, 1948 desegregated the U.S. armed forces. This action was one of several that earned Truman a reputation for strong presidential leadership.

Read Truman’s Special Message on Civil Rights on February 2, 1948: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=13006

Learn more: Michael Gardner, Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks (2002)

Read the Civil Rights Committee’s final report: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/civilrights/srights1.htm

Read: Steven F. Lawson, To Secure These Rights: The Report of Harry S Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights (2004)

Find a Day

Go
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

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!