1. Harry S. Truman
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  3. Teacher Workshop: "Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Truman and Civil Rights"

Teacher Workshop: "Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Truman and Civil Rights"

Teacher Workshop (Grades 4-12)

Theme of workshop:
"Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Truman and Civil

On July 26, 1948, with the stroke of a pen, President Harry S. Truman changed the course of American history. By signing Executive Order 9981, “Establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services,” he officially declared 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.” His action reflected the growing realization by more and more Americans that our nation could no longer reconcile segregation with the values we had fought a war to uphold. Seventy-five years on, a teacher workshop. will commemorate the anniversary of this watershed moment for advancing civil rights in America.

United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Edward Williams (right) of St. Louis, Missouri, exchanges a handshake with his Commander-in-Chief, President Harry S. Truman (left)

Speakers include local teachers who attended a recent national symposium in Washington DC. They will share their reflections, lesson ideas, and primary source documents on this landmark presidential decision. The workshop will explore the legacy of President Truman’s executive order “to secure these rights” and look to the future of inclusion and equal opportunity today and tomorrow in our nation's military.



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Machine gun crew of African American soldiers in the Korean War