Truman fight akin to 'Don't ask' debate
By Clifton Truman Daniel
This month, my family and I mark the 126th anniversary of the birth of my grandfather, President Harry Truman. We celebrate his life and his many contributions to our nation, but we are particularly proud of his decision to desegregate the U.S. Armed Forces in July 1948.
It wasn't easy. He faced fierce opposition from inside and outside the military. Many military leaders, including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Omar Bradley, argued that mixing black and white soldiers would destroy the Army. General George Marshall said "experiments within the Army in the solution of social problems are fraught with danger to efficiency, discipline, and morale." Others said the military should not adopt a policy contrary to the views of a majority of the people. At that time, Gallup polls found that 82 percent of Americans disagreed with my grandfather's civil rights initiatives.
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