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View Diary: They 'went for broke' in WWII while their families were broken (260 comments)

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  •  Thanks to Truman. (10+ / 0-)

    Who listened to all the politicans and all the generals who told him that integration would destroy "unit cohesiveness."

    (The same kind of bull used to keep woman and gays out of the military.)

    Truman didn't buy it. He ordered the full integration of the military.

    But it was a long, drawn out process, and a good example of why merely signing an Executive Order doesn't mean something's going to a done deal the next day. The military fought him, the Congress fought him, racist groups fought him, but he kept plugging.

    The Korean war, with it's high casualties, was also a big factor. By the time, basic training was desegregated, and soldiers were needed, black or white. But the process that began in 1945 took until 1953 before 95% of black soldiers were in integrated units.

    For a timeline with details:

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 05:04:17 PM PST

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    •  Kind of puts it in perspective for all those who (3+ / 0-)

      thought Obama should have just signed an executive order and DADT would have been gone in a minute.

      Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

      by ohiolibrarian on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:50:22 PM PST

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    •  Humphrey’s Contribution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At the Democratic National Convention in July 1948 a minority of the platform committee supported an anti-segregation civil-rights plank. Here’s a good explanation with more details from Smithsonian Magazine.

      On July 14, 1948, Hubert Humphrey, then the Mayor of Minneapolis, gave a rousing speech (text and audio available here: 1948 Civil Rights Speech).

      The convention voted on and narrowly passed the “liberal” platform plank that urged abolition of state poll taxes in federal elections, an anti-lynching law, a permanent fair employment practices committee, and desegregation of the armed forces.

      As a result of this platform loss, the Mississippi delegation and half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the convention and the Dixiecrats seceded from the party. You could call them the 1948 equivalent of the Tea Party. Their candidate was Strom Thurmond – who won 38 electoral votes from LA, MS, AL, and SC (plus one from a faithless elector in TN). What some people forget is that while the Thurmond’s States Rights party got 1.18 million votes, the Progressive Party (with Henry Wallace) got 1.16 million votes. So the Democrats lost votes on both the right and the left. Here’s Wikipedia’s article: 1948 Presidential Election.

      Humphrey gave the speech on July 14, 1948. Not quite two weeks later, on July 26, Truman issued the executive order to integrate the Armed Forces (plus another executive order to desegregate the Federal Civil Service).

      I think Truman knew the election would be close and he wanted to do the right thing before possibly losing the election. Also I think it was kind of a “fuck you” gesture to the Dixiecrats.

      One last bit of trivia: I remember reading somewhere that the Pentagon has twice as many bathrooms as are needed for the number of people working there. That’s because when the Pentagon was built in the 1940s (in Virginia), the architect included both “white” and “colored” bathrooms.

      But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

      by Dbug on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:34:44 AM PST

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