Yesterday we celebrated our veterans. But during World War II, one million African American men and the thousands of African American women were serving their country in racially segregated units.

In 1948, President Truman changed that by signing this landmark document.

This Executive Order called for equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces of the United States. Do you think it should be the first document to go display in our new “Records of Rights” exhibit?

Many years later, General Colin Powell would credit Truman for this move towards equality and civil rights:
“The military was the only institution in all of America—because of Harry Truman—where a young black kid, now twenty-one years old, could dream the dream he dared not think about at age eleven. It was the one place where the only thing that counted was courage, where the color of your guts and the color of your blood was more important than the color of your skin.”

Cast your vote for Executive Order 9981 to be displayed first in the new “Records of Rights” gallery.