Missouri State Archives
The Civil Rights Legacy of Harry S. Truman
Raymond H. Geselbracht
February 27, 2010
1 hour 03 minutes 49 seconds (1:03:49)
On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981, bringing an end to racial segregation within the ranks of the United States military forces. His decision surprised both liberals and conservatives. By the end of the Korean War in 1953, the U.S. military was almost completely desegregated. As a result of this and other acts, Truman's contribution to civil rights is generally viewed as significant. However, there are some historians who disagree. Editor Raymond Geselbracht shares this dialog and examines the meaning of some of President Truman's most important decisions and the foundation they laid for later civil rights achievements.