March On Washington Movement

(MOWM)
   In January 1941, black trade union leader A. Philip Randolph called upon African Americans to march on Washington on 1 July in protest against the continued discrimination against them in the armed forces and defense industries. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration failed to respond, other civil rights organizations, including the National Association for Advancement of Colored People, joined with Randolph to form MOWM. Faced with the threat of a protest numbering 10,000 or more, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 on 27 June 1941 ordering an end to discrimination in defense industries and establishing a Fair Employment Practices Committee to investigate breaches of the order. MOWM held a series of rallies in New York City, Chicago, and St. Louis in 1942 but gradually declined in influence during World War II. It had, however, established an important precedent that was to be replicated in 1963.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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