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Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945) to Joseph Curran

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06686 Author/Creator: Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945) Place Written: Washington, D. C. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 14 January 1942 Pagination: 1 p. ; 22.7 x 18.8 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06686 Author/Creator: Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945) Place Written: Washington, D. C. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 14 January 1942 Pagination: 1 p. ; 22.7 x 18.8 cm.

Summary of Content: President Roosevelt discusses "the discrimination against colored seamen, referred to in your telegram of January 2nd" with Curran, President of the National Maritime Union. States that he was previously informed that the discrimination had been eliminated by the action of the United States Maritime Commission. Discusses an Executive Order signed 25 June 1941, which instructed parties making contracts with the United States Government to include a provision obligating the contractor not to discriminate against any worker because of race, creed, color, or national origin. Declares "Questions of race, creed, and color have no place in determining who are to man our ships. The sole qualifications for a worker in the maritime industry, as well as in any other industry, should be his loyalty and his professional or technical ability and training." Typed on White House stationery. Contains "Pres" written in purple across the top right side of the page.

Background Information: Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 in June 1941 at the urging of civil rights activists. It desegregated the defense industries. Roosevelt did not, however, desegregate the military with this order; the armed ...forces were not desegregated until July 1948, when President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981.See More

Full Transcript: The White House
Washington
January 14, 1942

Mr. Joseph Curran, President
National Maritime Union
346 West 17th Street
New York, N. Y.

My dear Mr. Curran:

I am informed that the discrimination against ...colored seamen, referred to in your telegram of January 2nd, was eliminated by the action of the United States Maritime Commission on the day it occurred.

It is the policy of the Government of the United States to encourage full participation in the National Defense program by all citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin, in the firm belief that the democratic way of life within the nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups within its borders.

The policy was stated in my Executive Order signed on June 25, 1941. The order instructed all parties making contracts with the Government of the United States to include in all defense contracts thereafter a provision obligating the contractor not to discriminate against any worker because of race, creed, color, or national origin.

Questions of race, creed and color have no place in determining who are to man our ships. The sole qualifications for a worker in the maritime industry, as well as in any other industry, should be his loyalty and his professional or technical ability and training.

Sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt
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People: Curran, Joseph Edwin, 1906-1981
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 1882-1945

Historical Era: Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945

Subjects: African American HistoryPresidentMilitary HistoryAfrican American TroopsWorld War IINavyContractMaritime

Sub Era: World War II

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