Desegregating Armed Forces
9, 10, 11, 12
Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
- Students will research the historical cause of desegregating the Armed Forces
- To practice analyzing Primary Sources
- To explore one aspect of overcoming racism in our history
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:
- Missouri SS 3, 1.6 & 1.9 – Analyze political developments in US; evolution of American democratic institutions including Civil Rights
- Missouri SS1.10 – Analyze the roles & influence of political parties and interest groups.
- Missouri SS 3, 1.6 & 1.10 – Describe the changing character of American society and culture
- AP – Compare causes and/or effects, including between short and long term effects
- AP – Analyze and evaluate the interaction of multiple causes and/or effects
Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Full description of activity or assignment.
- Students have individual computers.
- Teacher demonstrates, on class screen, how to log on to Truman Library website. Navigate to
- Online Documents
- The Truman Administration’s Civil Rights Program: Desegregation of the Armed Forces
- Review chronology for future student reference
- Select ‘Documents’ link July 26, 1948. This demonstrates to students how to navigate around.
- Teacher reviews essence of Exec Order – total time, 10 minutes
- Teacher calls up July 3, 1945 Opinions about Negro Infantry Platoons” for students to read. Discuss white troops opinions, implications for future integration
- Teacher displays 1946 Gillem report, page 5 & 6, showing need for new policy since old policy on segregation was not efficient. Total time for both discussions – 10 minutes
- Students choose one other document that justifies Truman’s reason for signing Exec Order 9981.
- Students explain why their choice of document would move Truman toward the Executive Order.
- If time, have students review case of Issac Woodard: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/desegregation/large/lessons/dseg.html
Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
- Student explanation needs to match submitted document. May be done verbally as part of a class review or on submitted / e-mailed work. Pass/Fail activity.
- Can also be assessed on a future exam regarding Truman’s role in civil rights (Mult Chc) or future essay regarding cause of major civil rights decisions.