Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks

By Michael R. Gardner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Truman's Speech to the NAACP at the
Lincoln Memorial: June 29, 1947

We must make the Federal Government a friendly, vigilant defender of the rights and equalities of all Americans. And again I mean all Americans. —HST, June 29, 1947

On Sunday, June 29, 1947, a humid summer day in Washington, D. C., Harry Truman jauntily marched up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to address the closing session of the thirty-eighth annual conference of the NAACP. Though Truman was the thirty-third president of the United States, he was the first president to address the NAACP since its founding in 1909. 1 Truman also set another precedent in his NAACP speech when he became the first president unequivocally to commit himself and the federal government to “civil rights and human freedom of black Americans. ”

Appropriately, Truman's public declaration of support for the civil rights of African Americans was made on the steps of a federal monument dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who eighty-four years earlier had freed slaves throughout the South in a bitterly divided United States fighting a civil war over the enslavement of black Americans. It was the Civil War that had embittered many Missourians, including the president's ninety-four-year-old mother, who still disdained Abraham Lincoln even as her beloved Harry walked up the steps of Lincoln's memorial to deliver his landmark civil rights address.

Truman's audience on this Sunday afternoon consisted of ten thousand people gathered around the reflecting pool and the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the closing session of the NAACP's annual conference. The weekly Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, in its July 5 front-page coverage of Truman's speech, claimed that “white and colored persons sat next to each other all through the

-28-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 277

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.