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1940
NAACP-supported Wagner-Gavagan antilynching bill defeated in the Senate by a filibuster
1940
Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award
1941–1945
World War II
1941–1945
Women entered the wartime workforce in unprecedented numbers
1941
A. Philip Randolph proposed a March on Washington to demand fair employment for African Americans
1941
African American physician and scientist Dr. Charles Drew developed a technique for preserving blood plasma
1942
U.S. and Mexican governments launched the Bracero Program, which permitted temporary Mexican workers (braceros) to fill the domestic labor shortage
1942
NAACP Washington Bureau established
1942
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) founded
1942
Federal government forced Japanese Americans into relocation camps
1943
A. Philip Randolph created the National Council for a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC)
1945
A. Philip Randolph organized the Committee against Jim Crow Military Services and Training, later named “League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience against Military Service”
1946
U.S. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., (D-NY) began to attach a provision known as the “Powell Amendment” to bills, which became Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
1947
Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball in the modern era
1947
W. E. B. Du Bois submitted to the United Nations “An Appeal to the World,” a petition linking racism in the U.S. to colonial imperialism
1947
President’s Committee on Civil Rights issued its report, To Secure These Rights
1947
Bayard Rustin of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and George Houser of CORE organized the Journey of Reconciliation, the first Freedom Ride into the South
1948
President Harry Truman became the first U.S. president to address the annual convention of the NAACP
1948
Democratic National Convention endorsed a strong civil rights plank, inciting Southern Democrats to walk out and form the States Rights Party (Dixiecrats), which nominated Senator Strom Thurmond (then D-SC) for president
1949
Entertainer Timmie Rogers had the first prime-time, all-black television show on CBS
1949
Jo Ann Robinson became president of the Women’s Political Council (WPC), which organized and supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott
1949
Simone DeBouvior published The Second Sex, which helped launch the modern feminist movement