Civil Rights

"I propose to use whatever authority exists in the office of the President to end segregation in the District of Columbia, including the Federal Government, and any segregation in the Armed Forces."

  - Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, February 2, 1953

"We have erased segregation in those areas of national life to which Federal authority clearly extends. So doing in this, my friends, we have neither sought nor claimed partisan credit, and all such actions are nothing more - nothing less than the rendering of justice. And we have always been aware of this great truth: the final battle against intolerance is to be fought - not in the chambers of any legislature - but in the hearts of men."

  - Address at the Hollywood Bowl, Beverly Hills, California, October 19, 1956

"It was my hope that this localized situation would be brought under control by city and State authorities. If the use of local police powers had been sufficient, our traditional method of leaving the problems in those hands would have been pursued. But when large gatherings of obstructionists made it impossible for the decrees of the Court to be carried out, both the law and the national interest demanded that the President take action."

  - Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Situation in Little Rock September 24, 1957

"I do not believe that all of these problems can be solved just by a new law, or something that someone says, with teeth in it. For example, when we got into the Little Rock thing, it was not my province to talk about segregation or desegregation. I had the job of supporting a federal court that had issued a proper order under the Constitution, and where compliance was prevented by action that was unlawful."

  - The President's News Conference of March 26, 1958

"I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion."

  - The President's News Conference of May 13, 1959