Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Philanthropy, Social Services, Human Rights > 86. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

86.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963).  Executive Order, Equal Opportunity in Housing. Typescript, signed, with pen, November 27, 1962. RBML, Whitney M. Young, Jr. Papers

John F. Kennedy had criticized President Dwight Eisenhower during the election campaign of 1960 for not eliminating discrimination in housing "by the stroke of a pen." On November 27, 1962, President Kennedy issued this executive order prohibiting racial and religious discrimination in housing built or purchased with Federal aid, and set up the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity in Housing. He then sent this copy, with a pen used in the signing ceremony, to Whitney M. Young, Jr. (1921-1971), Executive Director of the National Urban League from 1961 until his tragic death in 1971. Young's papers, including correspondence, speeches, reports, testimony, press releases, and the texts of his radio broadcasts "To Be Equal," document his leadership.

Gift of Mrs. Margaret Young in memory of Whitney M. Young, Jr. (LL.D 1971), 1975

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