This chapter describes President Harry Truman's outrage toward the prevalence of racial violence and discrimination in America. After discovering that African American veterans had been murdered in several southern states, he declared, “I can't approve of such goings on and . . . I am going to try to remedy it and if that ends up in my failure to be reelected, that failure will be in a good cause.” This statement reveals a larger executive commitment to civil rights than Franklin Roosevelt was ever willing to advocate. In creating a Presidential Commission on Civil Rights and issuing his 1948 executive order to ensure “equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services, without regard to race,” Truman demonstrated an unprecedented presidential interest in the rights of African Americans.
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