The Report of Truman's Committee on
Civil Rights: October 29, 1947
[This report] will be a declaration of our renewed faith in the American goal—the integrity of the individual human being, sustained by the moral consensus of the whole Nation, protected by a [federal] Government based on equal freedom under just laws. —HST, October 29, 1947
Four months after his speech to the NAACP at the Lincoln Memorial, President Truman on October 29, 1947, was presented with the 178-page report of his Civil Rights Committee—a committee that had been hard at work since December 5, 1946. 1 Walter White characterized this “explosive Report” as bringing “down upon [Truman's] head vilification and denunciation from the South as great as that heaped upon Abraham Lincoln. ” 2
In publicly accepting the report formally submitted to him by the Committee on Civil Rights, President Truman praised the fifteen members for “their unselfish, devoted service. ” He once again conveyed his sense of urgency to see major federally inspired civil rights reform in the United States. “I created this Committee with a feeling of urgency. No sooner were we finished with the war than racial and religious intolerance began to appear and threaten the very things we had just fought for. ” 3 Truman's words confirm his continued alarm about increasingly overt signs of racism in a country that had just a year earlier won a global victory against racism and massive human rights violations. In view of the president's growing sense of urgency about the need to address the ugly racism that he first encountered in Missouri, the president, on October 29, 1947, was now armed with a comprehensive document that had been developed over the past ten
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Publication information: Book title: Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks. Contributors: Michael R. Gardner - Author. Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press. Place of publication: Carbondale, IL. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 43.
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