Executive Order 9981: Desegregating the Armed Forces (1948)


Executive Order 9981 was a presidential directive President Harry S. Truman issued on July 26, 1948. The order aimed to end segregation in the United States Armed Forces and to ensure equal treatment and opportunity for all military members, regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin. The executive order stated 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." It called for the end of segregation in the military and directed the armed services to implement policies to eliminate discrimination in all aspects of military life, from enlistment and training to promotion and assignment. The order marked the beginning of a new era in the military, where Black Americans were no longer denied the opportunity to serve their country and where they could receive equal treatment and recognition for their contributions.


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