Fair Employment Practices Committee

Fair Employment Practices Committee
   The FEPC was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Executive Order 8802 on 25 June 1941. The order was issued in response to the threat of a March on Washington by African Americans led by A. Philip Randolph to protest the discrimination in defense industries, scheduled for July 1. The president ordered an end to discrimination and established the FEPC to oversee the order. Although limited in size and funding, the FEPC held a series of widely-publicized hearings on discrimination in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Birmingham, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Portland. The hearings in Birmingham, Alabama, angered southern politicians, and the FEPC was transferred to the War Manpower Commission in July 1942. A further Executive Order 9346 enlarged the committee and its field staff in 1943. In 1946, Congress failed to approve further appropriations for FEPC due to a southern filibuster in the Senate, and the committee came to an end. It had heard more than 6,000 cases of discrimination and brought almost 2,000 cases to a satisfactory conclusion. Influenced by the federal initiative, a number of states and cities established their own fair employment practice bodies during World War II.

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

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