The Housing Order & Its Limits
ON NOVEMBER 20, 1962-as the entire nation listened to hear the outcome of two events, either of which might have touched off a world war-President Kennedy read a prepared statement announcing that he had signed an Executive Order banning discrimination in federally aided housing. Thus more than two years after attacking his Republican predecessor for failing to end housing discrimination “with the stroke of a pen,” Mr. Kennedy finally made good on his own promise to do so. Yet when the provisions of the Order appeared in the press and the flurries of praise and protest had settled down, two questions still remained to be answered. First, what were the forces that had caused Mr. Kennedy to wait so long before taking an action which he had conceded to be “sound, public constitutional policy” from the outset? And second, what would the Order actually accomplish?
About the Author