LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There's been lots of focus this month on executive orders from the President. It is worth noting one extraordinarily important executive order as we honor the great contributions of African Americans throughout our history this month.
It came from President Harry Truman 69 years ago and brought an end to racial segregation in the United States military. Executive Order 9981 declared "that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."
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Hard to believe it took that long in our nation's history to have such an order. Our country may not have survived the Civil War if it wasn't for the roughly 180,000 African-American men who served in the United States Army – 10% of the total Union fighting force.
It is also worth noting a speech made by Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years ago advocating an end to the Vietnam War and poverty. King said we must undergo a radical revolution of values by rapidly shifting "from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society."
His words still ring true today.