Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  215. Statement by the President Making Public a Report by the Civil Rights Committee  
October 29, 1947

THE PRESIDENT'S Civil Rights Committee has just submitted its report. I am going to read and study this report with great care and I recommend to all my countrymen that they do the same thing.

I created this Committee with a feeling of urgency. No sooner were we finished with the war than racial and religious intolerance began to appear and threaten the very things we had just fought for.

In times past, when our American freedoms were threatened, groups of our citizens banded together and set out on paper the principles they felt would preserve freedom and the kinds of action that would defend freedom.

The Declaration of Independence was that kind of document, and I notice that the title of this report is taken from the Declaration of Independence. I hope this Committee has given us as broad a document as that--an American charter of human freedom in our time.

The need for such a charter was never greater than at this moment. Men of good will everywhere are striving, under great difficulties, to create a worldwide moral order, firmly established in the life of nations. For us here in America, a new charter of human freedom will be a guide for action; and in the eyes of the world, it will be a declaration of our renewed faith in the American goal--the integrity of the individual human being, sustained by the moral consensus of the whole Nation, protected by a Government based on equal freedom under just laws.

The members of this Committee are busy men and women. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. I feel I am speaking for all Americans when I thank them for their selfish, devoted service.

NOTE: The Committee's report is entitled "To Secure These Rights" (Government Printing 1947, 178 pp.).
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.