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Letter from W. Stuart Symington, Secretary of the Air Force, sent to New Jersey Governor Alfred E. Driscoll on March 17, 1948, authorizing racially mixed units in the New Jersey Air National Guard. This made the New Jersey National Guard the first federally recognized military component to be integrated. (New Jersey National Guard photo by Mark C. Olsen) New Jersey National Guard pioneered segregation’s end
Although history credits President Harry Truman with desegregating America’s military, the truth is that racial integration had already arrived in New Jersey, thanks to a governor and National Guard leaders who had stubbornly insisted on equality in their forces.
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