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Truman Appoints Panel - History

Truman Appoints Panel - History



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On December 5, 1946, President Truman appointed a national committee to make recommendations on racial injustice in the United States.

President's Committee on Civil Rights

The President's Committee on Civil Rights was a United States Presidential Commission established by President Harry Truman in 1946. The committee was created by Executive Order 9808 on December 5, 1946 and instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them. [1] [2] After the committee submitted a report of its findings to President Truman, it disbanded in December 1947. [3]

  • Establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission, Joint Congressional Committee on Civil Rights, and a Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice
  • Develop federal protection from lynching
  • Establish a permanent fair employment practice commission
  • Abolish poll taxes
  • Other measures

President Truman signs United Nations Charter

President Harry S. Truman signs the United Nations Charter and the United States becomes the first nation to complete the ratification process and join the new international organization. Although hopes were high at the time that the United Nations would serve as an arbiter of international disputes, the organization also served as the scene for some memorable Cold War clashes.

President Truman took a step that many Americans hoped would mean continued peace in the post-World War II world. The president signed the United Nations Charter, thus completing American ratification of the document. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes also signed. In so doing, the United States became the first nation to complete the ratification process. The charter would come into full force when China, Russia, Great Britain, France, and a majority of the other nations that had constructed the document also completed ratification.

The signing was accomplished with little pomp and ceremony. Indeed, President Truman did not even use one of the ceremonial pens to sign, instead opting for a cheap 10-cent desk pen. Nonetheless, the event was marked by hope and optimism. Having gone through the horrors of two world wars in three decades, most Americans𠄺nd people around the world–were hopeful that the new international organization would serve as a forum for settling international disagreements and a means for maintaining global peace. 


Fred M. Vinson

Truman had the opportunity to make another appointment when Chief Justice Harlan Stone, a Roosevelt appointee, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 22, 1946.Truman was aboard the Williamsburg, which was in the lower Chesapeake Bay, when he got the news.

As was so often the case, Truman looked to history to help him decide which course to take. “I ordered an immediate return to Washington and began to study the office of the Chief Justice,” Truman later recalled. “There had been only twelve appointments up to that time. Mine would be No. 13. So I began to canvas the background and records of the members of the high court.” Despite his efforts to find a nominee, “No conclusion was reached.”

Eventually, Truman sought the advice of a retired former Chief Justice, Charles Evans Hughes. When he arrived at the White House, Hughes shared a list of Justices of the Supreme Court and judges on the various Courts of Appeals and State Courts he compiled with the president. After reviewing the list “one by one,” Hughes noted that “the Chief Justice of the United States should not only know the law but that he should understand politics and government.” Hughes then came to a conclusion of who the president should appoint. “You have a Secretary of the Treasury who has been a Congressman, a Judge of the Court of Appeal, and an executive officer in President Roosevelt’s and your cabinets.”

Truman also consulted Owen Roberts, the recently-retired Supreme Court justice he had just replaced, about potential nominees. Like Hughes, Roberts brought a list of potential nominees to the president. “We went over very nearly the same list that Mr. Hughes and I had used,” Truman recalled, before “Justice Roberts came up with exactly the same recommendation as Justice Hughes had made.”

With a choice in mind, President Truman approached his Secretary of the Treasury, Fred M. Vinson, to see “if he’d accept an appointment as Chief Justice if it were offered to him.” Truman recalled Vinson saying that “any man who had been in the law would jump at such an offer and of course he’d take it if he had the chance.” According to Truman, “No further conversation took place.”

At 4pm that day, June 6, 1946, President Truman announced to the press that he was “going to make Fred Vinson Chief Justice of the United States.” “Would you mind saying when you decided on Vinson,” a reporter asked. “About an hour and a half ago,” Truman replied. “We’re getting it hot, then,” the reporter responded. “Right off the griddle,” Truman quipped.

Fourteen days later, on June 20, 1946, the Senate confirmed Vinson by a voice vote. Four days later, Vinson took the oath of office as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Vinson served until his death on September 8, 1953. He is the last Chief Justice nominated by a Democratic President to be confirmed.


Ancient Aliens: Did Truman create the Majestic 12 to conceal UFOs?

In 1984, a roll of 35mm film was sent from an anonymous source in Albuquerque, NM to the doorstep of filmmaker Jaime Shandera in Burbank, CA. The film contained still pictures of eight top secret pages known as the Eisenhower Briefing Document. The documents are a briefing from the head of the CIA to Eisenhower from 1952, and they inform him of not only the MJ12 organization, but also group&rsquos composition and purpose. That purpose is UFOs and communication with aliens.

In April 2017, Giorgio Tsoukolos met with investigator Linda Moulton Howe, one of the first people to see Top Secret documents in 1994. Those documents are from April 1954 and have official Majestic 12 Group markings, as well as a war office stamp.

Connection to Roswell

Regardless of opinions on the matter, many believe the Roswell Incident is incontrovertible proof of America&rsquos involvement and interaction with aliens. In fact, the local newspaper reported that a flying saucer was captured at Roswell Army Air Field in the following day&rsquos paper. Government officials may have clarified with the whole weather balloon comment the following day, but a close examination of all the available data makes that fairly difficult to believe.

Could the Roswell Incident and the formation of MJ12 be mutually revealing? If not, it&rsquos awfully coincidental. Furthermore, other Top Secret organizations were formed around the same time:

  • National Security Council &ndash 1947
  • Central Intelligence Agency &ndash 1947
  • National Security Agency (NSA) &ndash 1952

According to Dwight D. Eisenhower&rsquos great-granddaughter, the organization was real, and her famous relative had no choice but to continue what Truman had started. In fact, she says Eisenhower physically met with aliens.

MJ12’s existence camouflaged.

Any secret with more than one person involved risks not being a secret. So it&rsquos interesting to consider MJ12 as a hoax considering its relative anonymity.

In the first place, MJ12 itself may have actively attempted to throw investigators off the scent. Famous astrophysicist Donald Menzel may have been the perfect person to dissuade potential believers. Menzel was a UFO contrarian and skeptic. In fact, he wrote multiple books on the matter. According to Robert Wood, PhD, Menzel&rsquos books were nothing more than counter-intelligence. Indeed, while some of the information in MJ12 documents has been disproven, there is certainly more than a grain of truth when it comes to Menzel&rsquos inclusion in the group.

Have there been assassinations to keep MJ12 and related information secret?

James Forrestal

America&rsquos first Secretary of Defense was James Forrestal, who was also the first man to lead MJ12. Appointed by Truman to be in charge of the secret MJ12 investigations, Forrestal may have uncovered German secrets that needed to be kept secret. The official stance is that he suffered from depression, and committed suicide from the 16 th floor of a hospital.

His suicide is highly questionable. Some have mentioned scratch marks were allegedly on the window, and his own brother unequivocally refutes the possibility of suicide. Among his brother&rsquos concerns are the plans James had following hospital discharge, the bill of health given by all top level people (including Truman), and the fact he committed suicide a few hours before was to be discharged.

Perhaps James Forrestal was planning on spilling the beans on America&rsquos involvement with UFOs?

John F. Kennedy

JFK’s death has been discussed, researched, reported and debated ad nauseam. Those details won&rsquot be discussed. Howe provides one extra piece of information. She breaks down one Top Secret document often referred to as the Scorched Memo, recovered from a fire. That document is allegedly from CIA chief Allen Dulles referencing JFK. For example, it says LANCER &ndash the Secret Service name for JFK at the time &ndash was getting a little too curious for their liking.

The fact that a later portion mentions that &ldquoit should be wet,&rdquo makes the document potential authorization to kill JFK if he doesn&rsquot cease his inquiries.

Furthermore, author Douglas Caddy was interviewed on the episode about his last interaction with CIA operative E. Howard Hunt. Caddy says he had personal communication with Hunt in 1975, and explicitly asked about a JFK assassination. According to Caddy, the reply was that JFK was indeed assassinated. Apparently JFK was about to give America&rsquos most vital secret to the Soviets.

A second roll of film emerges.

Much of this Ancient Aliens episode revolves around a second roll of film unveiled in March 1994. According to Howe, it&rsquos the most compelling document to confirm the MJ12 cover-up.

Howe states the documents titled Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal have been authenticated multiple ways, one of which includes the typeset. In fact, typeset nuances were traced back to a monotype in a government printing lab, and confirmed by a longstanding employee there.

Other details contained within the second roll of film are four different sketches of UFOs (e.g. Triangle, Long tube, Ice cream cone), a note about mutually agreed upon, alien initiated, obscure location meetups, and an investigation into Interplanetary Phenomena Unit (IPU) in July 1947. The IPU investigation was ordered by President Eisenhower, and conducted at the White Sands Proving Ground by General Nathan Farragut Twining. According to Eisenhower, Twining&rsquos report was &ldquofor the purpose of making an appraisal of the reported unidentified objects being kept there.” Additionally, the final report included talks of a possible atomic engine inside a UFO confirmed by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer.

More current connections exist.

The rest of the Ancient Aliens episode rambles a bit, as most episodes do. If there were a format for 45 minute shows, Ancient Aliens would be a perfect candidate. Speaking of perfect candidates, there is a guy named Corey Goode who alleges to be part of a secret military space program (i.e. Solar Warden) and Mars colonization effort that involves three dozen nations.

Furthermore, a hacker named Gary McKinnon may have found more proof of a link between MJ12 and current space operations. He hacked into NASA and Pentagon servers to uncover files that, according to the Ancient Aliens’ narrator, he claims provide undeniable proof of MJ12 and their legacy. (UPDATE: Per his interviews on Ancient Aliens, McKinnon confirms the hacking and potential UFO documents. He has refuted, however, the connection to and authenticity of MJ12 documents.) In one such document, McKinnon found a list of people and ships that were named after original MJ12 personnel. For what it&rsquos worth, Corey Goode confirms his experiences with Solar Warden.

Both believe the truth is being hidden from the general population, but everything will soon be disclosed.

This episode of Ancient Aliens is a bit different. It deals more with cover-ups than actual aliens. Nonetheless…

The total count for the &ldquoancient astronaut theorists suggest/say/theorize&rdquo phrase variation: 3.

Ancient Aliens airs Friday nights on the History channel.


Why Have All the U.S. Treasurers Since 1949 Been Women?

For the last six decades, presidents have treated the position as a low-risk, high-visibility job that promotes the appearance of diversity while rewarding loyal supporters.

When Janet Yellen made history last year by becoming the first female chair of the Federal Reserve, economists and sexual-equality advocates alike cheered the move. But it also renewed scrutiny of the gender gap at the top of the U.S. government's financial institutions. While departments such as Commerce and Interior have seen female chiefs come into their ranks, the Fed and Treasury continue to be led mostly by (white) men.

But the familiar narrative of Finance-as-Boys'-Club leaves out the little-known but important fact that every U.S. Treasurer—whose name appears on every printed U.S. dollar—has been a woman for the last 60 years. (Several of those women have been Latina one was African American.) Why?

President Harry S. Truman started the tradition in 1949 when he appointed Georgia Neese Clark, who campaigned for the Democrats in her Republican home state of Kansas. (The position of treasurer has existed since 1775.) By naming Clark as treasurer, Truman rewarded her loyalty and acknowledged the Democrats’ debt to the votes of women, who had joined the workforce in droves by the end of World War II. The job, like many ambassador positions, has continued to go to women with a history of political activism.

So why did a streak of female treasurers continue uninterrupted after Truman appointed Clark?

“Once there’s a woman appointed in a position, it’s easy to assume that position is one that could be filled by a woman,” says Jennifer Lawless, who directs the Women and Politics Institute at American University. “Once an initial ceiling is broken, once an initial piece of progress is made, there is a tendency to continue down that path.”

Such is the power of precedent. Once Clark proved herself capable of excelling at a certain position, future presidents felt less inclined to return to the way things used to be, Lawless said.

Of course, the U.S. treasurer is a much more ceremonial job than the powerful position of treasury secretary—a role that has only ever been held by (white) men, currently by Jack Lew (of meme-worthy signature fame). The current treasurer Rosa Gumataotao Rios, the sixth Latina ever to hold the job, advises top Treasury and finance officials and directly oversees the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. But Rios cannot create policy the way Lew or Yellen can, nor is her job as crucial to the functioning of the administration as theirs is. Ever since a woman was first appointed, the treasurer position has seen long stretches of vacancies—totaling 3,359 days, or nine years.

If this suggests a historical pattern of tokenism, Rios, who previously served as a managing director of investments for a $22 billion investment-management firm, rejects the relevance of any such pattern to her appointment. And in a statement to The Atlantic, the Department of Treasury emphasized the scope of Rios’s job: “While the role of the Treasurer of the United States has evolved over time, today the Treasurer of the United States oversees two major components of the Department of Treasury—the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This includes managing 4,000 employees and a currency and a coin portfolio with a $4.5 billion budget. The Treasurer is also a senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Treasury on a wide variety of issues, including community development.”*

Still, according to Alice Eagly, a social psychologist at Northwestern University who studies women and leadership, part of the decision to choose women and minorities for the treasurer position can boil down to “optics.” Eagly notes that it’s easier for presidents to actively engineer diversity with less-scrutinized positions like treasurer, compared with, say, Yellen’s job (for which Yellen wasn’t even the first pick).

But the overall picture becomes more nuanced when you consider that, in addition to their official duties, treasurers also work as ambassadors for economic development in lower-income or under-served communities where the Treasury wants to foster growth. Viewed in this light, “optics” is not a trivial thing, according to Heidi Hartmann, an economist and the founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Marginalized communities, Hartmann says, tend to be deeply suspicious of the government’s financial institutions. (Also part of the Treasury? The IRS.)

So the administration and under-served communities both benefit from the treasurer having a minority as a figurehead. President George W. Bush’s appointee, Anna Escobedo Cabral helped displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina who lost access to federal benefit payments and their bank accounts after the storm. Combine Cabral’s profile as a Mexican-American with her working-class upbringing, and she becomes instantly relatable as a spokesperson promoting financial literacy.

While treasurers have limited fiscal power, then, they can still matter. Figurehead political positions, held by men and women, are common, and it’s not uncommon to see these positions leveraged to great effect. As Lawless points out: “The average American doesn’t know the difference between Janet Yellen’s position and treasurer.” In an oddly serendipitous way, this sort of general ignorance can work to the advantage of women seeking economic positions in the future. “If American people see women in positions of economic power, it can help change the perception that women are not qualified for those kinds of jobs,” Lawless says.

“Women . need these positions that are kind of earmarked for them,” says Hartmann, until broader diversity becomes the rule, not the exception.

* This paragraph has been edited for clarity and to add perspective from the Department of Treasury.


Preventing War by Supporting Human Rights

The 51 countries that founded the U.N. did so in October 1945, just a couple months after the end of World War II. In the wake of two world wars and the first nuclear bomb attacks, and in the midst of a global refugee crisis, many feared that a more destructive World War III was right around the corner. The U.N. was founded at a time when people like Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to avoid such a disaster and address human rights as a way of preventing war.

President Harry Truman appointed Roosevelt to the U.S. delegation to the U.N. at the end of 1945. By then, she was well-known in the U.S. and abroad. As First Lady during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration from 1933 to 1945, she had championed poverty alleviation, access to education and civil rights, and traveled to the European and Pacific front lines of World War II. In April 1946, she became chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and took on the task of drafting a human rights declaration for the world.

Rooselvelt’s ideas about human rights and the need to work toward global peace were heavily influenced by her experiences during the two world wars. On the home front, she served food to World War I soldiers and “took the lead in making the federal government address shell-shocked sailors who were trapped in straight jackets in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in D.C.,” says Allida Black, a scholar at UVA’s Miller Center for Public Affairs and editor emeritus of GWU’s Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project.

She saw firsthand the death and devastation in Europe caused by the First and Second World Wars, and continued to witness it during her U.N. appointment. In a column published in February 1946, she wrote about her visit to the Zeilsheim displaced persons camp in Germany. After meeting Jewish people who had survived the Holocaust, she reflected: “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”


Truman Appoints Panel - History

President Harry S. Truman. (Courtesy photograph)

In 1940 the U.S. population was about 131 million, 12.6 million of which was African American, or about 10 percent of the total population.

During World War II, the Army had become the nation’s largest minority employer. Of the 2.5 million African Americans males who registered for the draft through Dec. 31, 1945, more than one million were inducted into the armed forces. African Americans, who constituted approximately 11 per cent of all registrants liable for service, furnished approximately this proportion of the inductees in all branches of the service except the Marine Corps. Along with thousands of black women, these inductees served in all branches of service and in all Theaters of Operations during World War II.

During World War II, President Roosevelt had responded to complaints about discrimination at home against African Americans by issuing Executive Order 8802 in June 1941, directing that blacks be accepted into job-training programs in defense plants, forbidding discrimination by defense contractors, and establishing a Fair Employment Practices Commission.

After the war, President Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s successor, faced a multitude of problems and allowed Congress to terminate the FEPC. However, in December 1946, Truman appointed a distinguished panel to serve as the President’s Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended “more adequate means and procedures for the protection of the civil rights of the people of the United States.” When the commission issued its report, “To Secure These Rights,” in October 1947, among its proposals were anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws, a permanent FEPC, and strengthening the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

In February 1948, President Truman called on Congress to enact all of these recommendations. When Southern senators immediately threatened a filibuster, Truman moved ahead on civil rights by using his executive powers. Among other things, Truman bolstered the civil rights division, appointed the first African American judge to the Federal bench, named several other African Americans to high-ranking administration positions, and most important, on July 26, 1948, he issued an executive order abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services.

Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” The order also established an advisory committee to examine the rules, practices, and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality. There was considerable resistance to the executive order from the military, but by the end of the Korean conflict, almost all the military was integrated.

By mid-1951, more than 18 percent of African-Americans in the Army were serving in integrated or partially-integrated units. The change to integrated units was permanent, if limited. And most importantly, the integrated units were successful. Segregation officially ended in 1954 with the disbandment of the last all-black unit.

President Truman’s Executive Order that desegregated the U.S. military. (Courtesy photograph)


Executive Order 9981: Ending Segregation in the Armed Forces

On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed this executive order establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, committing the government to integrating the segregated military.

In 1940, the US population was about 131 million, 12.6 million of which was African American, or about 10 percent of the total population. During World War II, the Army had become the nation’s largest minority employer. Of the 2.5 million African Americans males who registered for the draft through December 31, 1945, more than one million were inducted into the armed forces. Along with thousands of black women, these inductees served in all branches of service and in all Theaters of Operations during World War II.

During World War II, President Roosevelt had responded to complaints about discrimination at home against African Americans by issuing Executive Order 8802 in June 1941, directing that blacks be accepted into job-training programs in defense plants, forbidding discrimination by defense contractors, and establishing a Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC).

After the war, President Harry S. Truman faced a multitude of problems and allowed Congress to terminate the FEPC. However, in December 1946, Truman appointed a distinguished panel to serve as the President’s Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended “more adequate means and procedures for the protection of the civil rights of the people of the United States.” When the commission issued its report, “To Secure These Rights,” in October 1947, among its proposals were anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws, a permanent FEPC, and strengthening the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

In February 1948, President Truman called on Congress to enact all of these recommendations. When Southern Senators immediately threatened a filibuster, Truman moved ahead on civil rights by using his executive powers. Among other things, Truman bolstered the civil rights division, appointed the first African American judge to the Federal bench, named several other African Americans to high-ranking administration positions, and most important, on July 26, 1948, he issued an executive order abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services.

Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” The order also established an advisory committee to examine the rules, practices, and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality. There was considerable resistance to the executive order from the military, but by the end of the Korean conflict, almost all the military was integrated.

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Truman Appoints Panel - History

During World War II, African Americans complained that discrimination at home could not be squared with the fight against intolerance overseas. President Roosevelt responded to this complaint by issuing an executive order in June 1941 directing that blacks be accepted into job-training programs in defense plants, forbidding discrimination by defense contractors and establishing a Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). But with southerners firmly in control of major congressional committees, the president could go no further moreover, with a war on, civil rights was a low priority.

Harry Truman, Roosevelt's successor, found himself beset by a multitude of problems after the war, and put up no protest when Congress killed the wartime agency. Later on, however, he asked Congress to create a permanent FEPC, and in December 1946, he appointed a distinguished panel to serve as the President's Commission on Civil Rights, which would recommend "more adequate means and procedures for the protection of the civil rights of the people of the United States."

The Commission issued its report, "To Secure These Rights," in October 1947, and it defined the nation's civil rights agenda for the next generation. The Commission noted the many restrictions on blacks, and urged that each person, regardless of race, color or national origin, should have access to equal opportunity in securing education, decent housing and jobs. Among its proposals, the Commission suggested anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws, a permanent FEPC, and strengthening the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

In a courageous act, Harry Truman sent a special message to Congress on February 2, 1948, calling for prompt implementation of the Commission's recommendations. Southerners immediately threatened a filibuster, so Truman, unable to secure action from the Congress, moved ahead using his executive authority. Among other things, he bolstered the civil rights division, appointed the first black judge to the federal bench, named several other blacks to high-ranking administration positions, and most important, on July 26, 1948, he issued the following executive order abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services.

For further reading: Richard Dalfiume, Desegregation in the U.S. Armed Forces (1953) Donald R. McCoy and Richard T. Ruetten, Quest and Response: Minority Rights in the Truman Administration (1973) and William C. Berman, The Politics of Civil Rights in the Truman Administration (1970).

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981 (1948)

Establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services

Whereas it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense:

Now therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States, and as Commander in Chief of the armed services, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.

2. There shall be created in the National Military Establishment an advisory committee to be known as the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, which shall be composed of seven members to be designated by the President.

3. The Committee is authorized on behalf of the President to examine into the rules, procedures and practices of the armed services in order to determine in what respect such rules, procedures and practices may be altered or improved with a view to carrying out the policy of this order. The Committee shall confer and advise with the Secretary of the Air Force, and shall make such recommendations to the President and to said Secretaries as in the judgement of the Committee will effectuate the policy hereof.

4. All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Committee in its work, and to furnish the Committee such information or the services of such persons as the Committee may require in the performance of its duties.

5. When requested by the Committee to do so, persons in the armed services or in any of the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall testify before the Committee and shall make available for the use of the Committee such documents and other information as the Committee may require.

6. The Committee shall continue to exist until such time as the President shall terminate its existence by Executive Order.

Harry S. Truman

Source: Fed. Register 13 (1948): 4313.


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