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A Threatened March on Washington--1941
"Why Should We March?" March on Washington fliers, 1941. A. Philip Randolph Papers, Manuscript Division (8-8)
Courtesy of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Washington, D.C..
The papers of A. Philip Randolph document his protests against segregation, particularly in the armed forces and
defense industries during the war. Randolph led a successful movement during World War II to end segregation
in defense industries by threatening to bring thousands of blacks to protest in Washington, D. C., in 1941.
The threatened March on Washington in 1941 prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive
Order 8802, stating that there should be "no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries
or Government because of race, creed, color, or national origin." The Committee on Fair Employment Practices
was established to handle discrimination complaints.
Freedom Riders Seek to Integrate Southern Transportation
Background Map: 1961 Freedom Rides.
[New York]: Associated Press Newsfeature, [1962].
Printed map and text.
Geography and Map Division. (9-4)
The Freedom Riders of the early 1960s, organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), rode through the
South seeking integration of the bus, rail, and airport terminals. This Associated Press release, authored by Sid
Moody, includes a map and an exceptionally descriptive text that illustrates the routes taken and the history
behind the freedom rides. Together, the map and text record the individual cities visited, when and where
violence occurred, and how many Freedom Riders were arrested. The text also describes some disturbances
resulting from the staged sit-ins and forced recognition of CORE's causes and issues. Looking at the map and
reading the text, one can perceive the struggles that these Freedom Riders endured in their quest for full
citizenship in 1961.
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Women and the War Effort
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)
Cover illustration for the
Saturday Evening Post,
September 4, 1943
Color photomechanical print
General Collections (71.3)
During World War II the U.S. government
mounted an extensive propaganda campaign
encouraging women to join the war effort. In
the fall of 1943, the Office of War
Information mounted the "Women in
Necessary Services" campaign. The
Saturday Evening Post enlisted Norman
Rockwell to create a cover for its Labor Day
issue. His illustration shows a woman clad in
red, white, and blue and encumbered with
the accouterments of defense work,
including air raid warning equipment.
Activists & Reformers Cesar Chavez
Cesar Chavez Grows Up
Working conditions for migrant workers were
harsh and often unsafe. Their wages were low,
and it was difficult to support a family. Cesar's
family frequently did not have access to basic
needs such as clean water or toilets. Because a
large number of migrant workers were Mexican
American, they also often faced prejudice, and
their children had to skip school to earn wages to
help support the family.
During the 1940s, many migrant
farm worker families lived in
government-sponsored camps as
they moved from place to place
Cesar Chavez attended about 30 schools in
California as his family moved from place to place
to find work. After the eighth grade Cesar had to
quit school to support his ailing parents. Have you
ever had to change schools because your family
moved? Can you imagine what it would be like to
have to do this 30 times?