Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks / Edition 3by Michael Gardner
Given his background, President Truman was an unlikely champion of civil rights. Where he grew upthe border state of Missourisegregation was accepted and largely unquestioned. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents had owned slaves, and his mother, victimized by Yankee forces, railed against Abraham Lincoln for the remainder of her ninety-four… See more details below
Given his background, President Truman was an unlikely champion of civil rights. Where he grew upthe border state of Missourisegregation was accepted and largely unquestioned. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents had owned slaves, and his mother, victimized by Yankee forces, railed against Abraham Lincoln for the remainder of her ninety-four years. When Truman assumed the presidency on April 12, 1945, Michael R. Gardner points out, Washington, DC, in many ways resembled Cape Town, South Africa, under apartheid rule circa 1985.
Truman’s background notwithstanding, Gardner shows that it was Harry Trumannot Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or John F. Kennedywho energized the modern civil rights movement, a movement that basically had stalled since Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves. Gardner recounts Truman’s public and private actions regarding black Americans. He analyzes speeches, private conversations with colleagues, the executive orders that shattered federal segregation policies, and the appointments of like-minded civil rights activists to important positions. Among those appointments was the first black federal judge in the continental United States.
One of Gardner’s essential and provocative points is that the Frederick Moore Vinson Supreme Courta court significantly shaped by Trumanprovided the legal basis for the nationwide integration that Truman could not get through the Congress. Challenging the myth that the civil rights movement began with Brown v. Board of Education under Chief Justice Earl Warren, Gardner contends that the life-altering civil rights rulings by the Vinson Court provided the necessary legal framework for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Gardner characterizes Truman’s evolution from a man who grew up in a racist household into a president willing to put his political career at mortal risk by actively supporting the interests of black Americans.
- Southern Illinois University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.63(h) x 1.10(d)
Table of Contents
|List of Plates|
|Ch. 1||The Historical Background for Truman's Civil Rights Crusade||4|
|Ch. 2||Truman's Committee on Civil Rights: December 5, 1946||14|
|Ch. 3||Truman's Speech to the NAACP at the Lincoln Memorial: June 29, 1947||28|
|Ch. 4||The Report of Truman's Committee on Civil Rights: October 29, 1947||43|
|Ch. 5||Truman's State of the Union Address: January 7, 1948||65|
|Ch. 6||Truman's Special Message to Congress on Civil Rights: February 2, 1948||71|
|Ch. 7||The 1948 Democratic Party Convention and the Civil Rights Plank: July 14-15, 1948||87|
|Ch. 8||The Turnip Day Congressional Session and Executive Orders 9980 and 9981: July 26, 1948||105|
|Ch. 9||The Great "Comeback" Campaign and Truman's Harlem Speech: October 29, 1948||122|
|Ch. 10||Civil Rights Progress Despite a Recalcitrant Congress: 1949-1952||147|
|Ch. 11||Truman and the Vinson Court||163|
|Ch. 12||Truman's Howard University Commencement Address: June 13, 1952||198|
|Ch. 13||Truman's Final Civil Rights Address in Harlem: October 11, 1952||210|
|Ch. 14||The Truman Civil Rights Legacy||216|
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