Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945) to Joseph Curran

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06686 Author/Creator: Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano) (1882-1945) Place Written: Washington, D. C. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 14 January 1942 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: President Roosevelt discusses "the discrimination against colored seamen, referred to in your telegram of January 2nd" with Curran, President of the National Maritime Union. States that he was previously informed that the discrimination had been eliminated by the action of the United States Maritime Commission. Discusses an Executive Order signed 25 June 1941, which instructed parties making contracts with the United States Government to include a provision obligating the contractor not to discriminate against any worker because of race, creed, color, or national origin. Declares "Questions of race, creed, and color have no place in determining who are to man our ships. The sole qualifications for a worker in the maritime industry, as well as in any other industry, should be his loyalty and his professional or technical ability and training." Typed on White House stationery. Contains "Pres" written in purple across the top right side of the page.

People: Curran, Joseph, b. ca. 1902.
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.

Historical Era: Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945

Keywords/Subjects: African American History, President, Military History, African American Troops, World War II, Navy, Contract, Maritime

Sub Era: World War II