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Wed, 06.25.1941

Executive Order 8802 is Signed

Workers Group

*On this date in 1941, Executive Order 8802 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This prohibited ethnic or racial discrimination in the nation's defense industry.

It also set up the Fair Employment Practice Committee. It was the first federal action, though not a law, to promote equal opportunity and prohibit employment discrimination in the United States. Many citizens of African, Italian, or German ethnicity were affected by World War II, impeding the war effort and lowering morale. This ethnic factor was a significant motivation for Roosevelt.

The President's statement that accompanied the Order cited the war effort, saying that "the democratic way of life within the nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups," and cited reports of discrimination: There is evidence available that needed workers have been barred from industries engaged in defense production solely because of considerations of race, creed, color, or national origin, to the detriment of workers' morale and of national unity.  

The Executive Order was demanded by A. Philip RandolphWalter White, and other blacks involved in the March on Washington Movement, who had planned a march in Washington, D.C., in 1941 to protest racial discrimination in the industry and the military. They suspended the march after Executive Order 8802 was issued. The Order required federal agencies and departments involved with defense production to ensure that vocational and training programs were administered without discrimination regarding "race, creed, color, or national origin." All defense contracts were to include provisions that also barred private contractors from discrimination.

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

rhythm and blues ain't what it used to be blues done got Americanize tellin' me that I should stay in school get off the streets and keep the summer... THE BLUES TODAY by Mae Jackson.
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