President Roosevelt orders the armed services to accept more African-Americans and expand job opportunities for them within the military; for the first time, the United States Marine Corps accepts African-Americans. Despite expanded opportunities, African-Americans remain in segregated units. Approximately one million African-Americans serve in the armed forces during World War II.
One day after the Japanese military attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the United States declares war on Japan. Three days later, Japan's allies, Germany and Italy, declare war on the United States.
The military slowly continues the process of desegregation during the Korean War. Short on manpower, the Marine Corps rapidly integrates African-Americans into previously all-white units. African-American Marines earn the respect of white Marines and integration poses few problems for Marine Corps leadership.
Responding to pressure from the African-American community, President F.D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802, banning employment discrimination by the Federal Government and in companies contracting with Federal Government. President Roosevelt also promises to expand opportunities for African-Americans in the military.
With over one million African-Americans having served in the military during World War II, President Harry Truman orders the desegregation of the Armed Forces with Executive Order 9981.
The Supreme Court Ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar a student from attending a state law school based solely on race.
The Supreme Court rules that segregation of graduate schools, including law schools, is unconstitutional. Based on this decision, the NAACP begins plans to overturn the 'separate but equal' precedent set by Plessy v. Ferguson.
In a landmark case, the Supreme Court unanimously overturns the precedent created by the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling in 1896. Brown v. Board ruled that segregated public schools are unconstitutional, violating people's 14th Amendment rights. This ruling also established a precedent for desegregating society.