National Archives at Atlanta

National Archives at Atlanta

Gadsden Ordnance

Gadsden Ordnance Plant

ca. 1942

Civil Rights
Two of the forces advancing civil rights during the war years were A. Philip Randolph's March on Washington Movement and the NAACP legal team led by Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall. On the labor front, Randolph coerced President Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 which promised federal support for equal opportunity in the war industries. Similarly, Marshall brought multiple discrimination cases from the workplace to trial. The Fair Employment Practices Commision (FEPC) and the War Manpower Commission (WMC) were responsible for implementing these orders in an increasingly diverse workforce, to very mixed results. For in the South, these efforts were painfully slow to gain traction.