President's Committee On Civil Rights

The President's Committee on Civil Rights (PCCR) was established by Executive Order 9808, which Harry Truman, who was then President of the United States, issued on December 5, 1946. The committee was instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them. After the committee submitted a report of its findings to President Truman, it disbanded in December 1947.

The committee's terms of reference were: (1)to examine the condition of civil rights in the United States, (2)to produce a written report of their findings, and (3)to submit recommendations on improving civil rights in the United States. In October 1947, To Secure These Rights: The Report of the President’s Committee on Civil Rights was produced. The 178-page report proposed improving existing civil rights laws. More specifically, it aimed to establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission, a Joint Congressional Committee on Civil Rights, and a Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice, to develop federal protection from lynching, to create a Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC), to abolish poll taxes, among other measures.

On July 26, 1948, President Truman advanced the recommendations of the report by signing executive orders 9980 and 9981. Executive Order 9980 ordered the desegregation of the federal work force and Executive Order 9981, the desegregation of the armed services. He also sent a special message to Congress on February 2, 1948 to implement the recommendations of the President’s Committee on Civil Rights.

Read more about President's Committee On Civil Rights:  Impact On Civil Rights, Membership, Publication, Notes, Secondary Sources

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