July 26, 1948: President Harry Truman Signs Executive Order 9981
On this day in 1948, President Truman issued an executive order abolishing racial segregation in all branches of the armed forces and establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services. This major piece of legislation was a welcome victory for the African American soldiers’ “Double V” campaign, in which they fought both WWII abroad and racism at home.
Photo: The Chicago Defender announces Executive Order 9981. Library of Congress Exhibition
In World War I, military ships were often painted with “dazzle camouflage”: zany, complex patterns, glaring colors, and geometric shapes designed to confuse the enemy.
This summer, on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, Dazzle ships have made a comeback on the rivers of Liverpool and London.
Americans do not like it when their politician are too smart. And they never have.
History, University of Iowa
On July 2, 1964, with Martin Luther King, Jr., directly behind him, President Lyndon Johnson scrawled his signature on a document years in the making—the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr., others look on, 07/02/1964. (The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library)
The first and the signature pages of the act will be on display at the National Archives Rubenstein Gallery in Washington, DC, until September 17, 2014. These 50-year-old sheets of paper represent years of struggle and society’s journey toward justice.
The most comprehensive civil rights legislation since the Reconstruction era, the Civil Right Act finally gave the Federal Government the means to enforce the promises of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. The act prohibited discrimination in public places, allowed the integration of public facilities and schools, and forbade discrimination in employment.
But such a landmark congressional enactment was by no means achieved easily…
Plus more on the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
- Don’t miss the new Civil Rights Act of 1964 Exhibit in Google’s Cultural Institute
- Events at the National Archives in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act
- Teaching resources at The Struggle for Rights in America, via DocsTeach
- See all the pages of the Civil Rights Act in the National Archives online catalog
From the series: "Redbook" Photographs, compiled 1893 - 1918. Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985
American troops boarding transport ships during the Philippine Insurrection, 115 years ago.
During the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces in the Philippines and Filipino forces led by revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo had a common enemy in Spain. As hostilities came to a close and the United States emerged from the war victorious, Aguinaldo and his supporters were eager for Philippine independence. However, as a result of the Treaty of Paris, December 10, 1898, the United States gained the Philippines as a U.S. territory. Many in the islands were not eager to see one colonial power replaced by another. This desire for independence soon resulted in armed resistance against the United States, beginning with a skirmish on the night of February 4, 1899, just outside of Manila.
Why, then, was it all so apparently painless? Why, after decades of internal violence and foreign aggression, did the world’s first Socialist society implode without even trying to defend itself? One answer, of course, is that it never really existed in the first place: that, in the words of the historian Martin Malia, ‘there is no such thing as socialism, and the Soviet Union built it.’
Kids those days
Puritanism was popular with the young people. This can be proven by looking at America, which was new then.
FEEM Lecture by Anatol Lieven, King’s College London: “The Ukraine Debacle”
The recent development of the Ukrainian crisis has unveiled a series of long-neglected problems that today emerge dramatically. The complex current scenario and the difficulties in recomposing the crisis at diplomatic level show the inadequacy of EU and North American foreign policies and international relations with Russia and the former Soviet Union bloc. The possible scenarios leading to a resolution of the crisis have significant consequences at social, economic, political, energy and geostrategic levels, also considering the role played by China as a newly consolidated world power.
Anatol Lieven, internationally renowned scholar of geostrategic issues and security in Eurasia and expert of Central Asia and the former Soviet Union bloc, will analyse the origins of the present crisis and will explore what it teaches about the making of Western transnational relations.
Contrary to popular belief, the CIA did not plot with the Chilean military to overthrow Allende and put Pinochet in power: http://fam.ag/1r0y2UM
The idea that Latin American military regimes were merely American lackeys has always irked me. First, because it makes a story of Latin American dictatorships into one of American guild (hey, it’s not always “about you”). Second, because it implies that Latin American elites don’t have agency and are incapable of being devious and evil on their own. Third, it eliminates the need for empirical analysis of causes of events by reducing them to “American imperialism” (again, it’s not always about you).
So, yeah. Pinochet was awful. But we’re probably better off understanding the Chilean context from which Pinochet emerged than looking for how we can think about ourselves some more.