Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy birthday, A. Philip Randolph

It is the birthday of civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph (1889), who is credited with forming the first predominantly black labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. The union succeeded to winning better working conditions and pay for workers. In 1941, he organized a march on Washington to seek an end to discrimination in war industries. However, the march never took place because President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order that became known as the Fair Employment Act. Later, Randolph led a protest seeking to end segregation in the armed forces, following which President Harry Truman issued an executive order to do just that. Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida, and raised in Jacksonville.

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