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Records of the Committee on Fair Employment Practices. Part 1 : Racial tension file, 1943-1945

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Summary

  • "This collection consists generally of newspaper clippings, statistical reports, memoranda, and correspondence. Materials in this collection mostly date from 1943 to 1946 with some documents going back to 1935. On June 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the first Committee on Fair Employment Practices (FEPC) in the Office of Production Management by Executive Order 8802. Executive Order 9346 of May 27, 1943, abolished this committee and created a new one with the same name in the Office of Emergency Management. The staff and activities of the second committee remained the same as the first.
  • In this collection, many folders offer statistical summaries of industrial centers with selected data, including population size and characteristics, labor supply, educational enrollment, hospital facilities, war industries, and housing occupancy. These reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide a background of local conditions during wartime and a gauge of the war's impact on various communities. Federal and local agencies considered these reports useful in appraising policies needed for industrial adjustments and reemployment in the postwar period.
  • Besides the statistical materials, this collection comprises newspaper articles covering issues of the time, including African American migration to urban areas, racial tensions in industries, relations of African American workers with labor unions, and wage inequities. Documents cover the allegations by African Americans of discrimination in promotions for Navy Seabees (101135-001-0238). The navy conducted investigations after a two-day hunger strike in March 1945 by an all-African American Seabee battalion stationed at Port Hueneme, California. Background materials on racial tensions in Illinois include analyses of the cluster of race riots in Springfield, East St. Louis, and Chicago in 1908, 1917, and 1919 (101135-003-0178).
  • In this collection, researchers can find extensive news reports and commentary on the walkout by white workers in the Philadelphia transportation system against equal opportunities for African American workers (101135-007-0815). The Philadelphia transit strike, which crippled the city for a week in August 1944, focused the nation on employment discrimination and racial equality, particularly with African Americans fighting a war for democracy overseas.
  • Materials in this collection also cover the work stoppages by white employees in protest to the hiring of African Americans at the Wright Aeronautical plant in Ohio (101135-007-0056). Documents describe the "Zoot Suit" clashes between Mexican American youths and U.S. servicemen in Los Angeles (101135-001-0238), which ignited racial disturbances across the country in midsummer 1943."--vendor website

Notes

  • Title from home page (viewed Sept. 24, 2012).
  • Source: National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland: Record Group 228 (U.S. Committee on Fair Employment Practices)
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