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July 26, 1948: President Truman Issues Executive Order 9981 Desegregating the Military


On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order No. 9981. This order was established to end segregation in the United States Military. It stated, “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”

The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum writes, "Full integration did not come until the Korean War however, when heavy casualties forced segregated units to merge for survival."

President Truman once said, "America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." Since the founding days of our nation, Americans of different creeds and backgrounds have always selflessly defended our freedom. We have all shared in the struggle to build a better world.

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