|1st United States Secretary of the Army|
September 18, 1947 –April 27, 1949
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Gordon Gray|
|56th United States Secretary of War|
July 19,1947 –September 18,1947
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Robert P. Patterson|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|United States Under Secretary of War|
November 9,1945 –July 18,1947
|President||Harry S. Truman|
|Preceded by||Robert P. Patterson|
|Succeeded by||William Henry Draper Jr.|
|Died||May 25,1971 76) (aged|
|Spouse||Margaret Pierce Best|
|Education|| University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill (BA)|
Harvard University (LLB)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1917–1921|
|Battles/wars|| World War I |
World War II
Kenneth Claiborne Royall,Sr. (July 24,1894 –May 25,1971) was a U.S. Army general,and the last man to hold the office of Secretary of War,which secretariat was abolished in 1947. Royall served as the first Secretary of the Army from 1947 to 1949,until he was compelled into retirement for refusing to obey and realize President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9981 for the racial desegregation of the military forces of the United States.
Kenneth Caliborne Royall was born on July 24,1894,in Goldsboro,North Carolina,the son of Clara Howard Jones and George Pender Royall. He graduated from Episcopal High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity,and Harvard Law School before serving in World War I.He then practiced law and was elected to the North Carolina Senate as a Democrat. At the beginning of World War II,he became a colonel in the US Army.
On August 18,1917,Royall married the former Margaret Pierce Best,with whom he had two sons and one daughter,Kenneth Claiborne,Jr.,Margaret,and George Pender Royall.
According to a 2006 newspaper column by Jack Betts,eight German agents bent on mayhem came ashore on Long Island in 1942 but were soon caught and ordered to stand trial in a secret military tribunal. US President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Royall to defend them,but,wanting a swift conclusion to the process,with the Germans executed as soon as possible,ordered Royall to avoid civilian courts. Royall wrote to Roosevelt that he thought that the president had no authority to convene a secret court to try his clients,and asked him to change his order. The president refused,and Royall appealed to the US District Court,arguing the secret tribunal was unconstitutional.
The court rejected that argument and so Royall and other lawyers in his office appealed to the Supreme Court,which rejected Royall's argument in a brief announcement in July 1942 and upheld the right of the president to appoint a secret tribunal. However,Royall had succeeded in getting civilian court review of the tribunals' constitutionality despite the president's predilection for secrecy.
The Supreme Court published a more detailed opinion in October,saying,"Constitutional safeguards for the protection of all who are charged with offense are not to be disregarded." By then,six of Royall's clients were dead. They had been tried,convicted,and executed in August,days after the Supreme Court's brief announcement upholding Roosevelt's tribunals. Two who turned themselves in and betrayed the others were sent to prison. Royall later said he believed his defense of the Germans was his most important work in a long and illustrious career. He was promoted to brigadier general.
Royall served as Undersecretary of War from November 9,1945 until July 18,1947.President Truman named him Secretary of War in 1947. He became the first Secretary of the Army two months later.
In 1948,Royall refused to make public the documentary “Nuremberg:Its Lesson For Today”because "due to policy changes,‘Nuremberg’was not in the interest of the ‘army or the nation’and would not be released to the general public".
Royall was forced into retirement in April 1949 for continuing to refuse to desegregate the Army,nearly a year after President Truman promulgated Executive Order 9981.
In December 1949,Royall became a partner at the prestigious New York City law firm of Dwight,Harris,Koegel and Caskey,becoming the firm's head in 1958. The firm was later renamed Rogers &Wells,and it was subsequently known as Clifford Chance Rogers &Wells after its merger with British firm Clifford Chance.
Royall died in Durham,North Carolina,on May 25,1971,aged 76. He was buried at Willow Dale Cemetery in Goldsboro,North Carolina.
His son,Kenneth C. Royall,Jr. (1918–1999) served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1967 to 1972,and the North Carolina Senate from 1973 to 1992.
Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups,usually referring to races. Desegregation is typically measured by the index of dissimilarity,allowing researchers to determine whether desegregation efforts are having impact on the settlement patterns of various groups. This is most commonly used in reference to the United States. Desegregation was long a focus of the American civil rights movement,both before and after the United States Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education,particularly desegregation of the school systems and the military. Racial integration of society was a closely related goal.
Robert Houghwout Jackson was an American lawyer,jurist,and politician who served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1941 until his death in 1954. He had previously served as United States Solicitor General and United States Attorney General,and is the only person to have held all three of those offices. Jackson was also notable for his work as Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II.
This section of the Timeline of United States history concerns events from 1930 to 1949.
The secretary of the Army is a senior civilian official within the United States Department of Defense,with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army:manpower,personnel,reserve affairs,installations,environmental issues,weapons systems and equipment acquisition,communications and financial management.
Executive Order 9981 was issued on July 26,1948,by President Harry S. Truman. This executive order abolished discrimination "on the basis of race,color,religion or national origin" in the United States Armed Forces,and led to the re-integration of the services during the Korean War (1950–1953). It was a crucial event in the post-World War II civil rights movement and a major achievement of Truman's presidency.
James Francis Byrnes was an American judge and politician from South Carolina. A member of the Democratic Party,he served in U.S. Congress and on the U.S. Supreme Court,as well as in the executive branch,most prominently as the 49th U.S. Secretary of State under President Harry S. Truman. Byrnes was also the 104th governor of South Carolina,making him one of the very few politicians to have served in the highest levels of all three branches of the American federal government while also being active in state government.
Francis Beverley Biddle was an American lawyer and judge who was the United States Attorney General during World War II. He also served as the primary American judge during the postwar Nuremberg Trials as well as a United States circuit judge of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Military tribunals in the United States are military courts designed to judicially try members of enemy forces during wartime,operating outside the scope of conventional criminal and civil proceedings. The judges are military officers and fulfill the role of jurors. Military tribunals are distinct from courts-martial.
Frederick "Fred" Moore Vinson was an American attorney and politician who served as the 13th chief justice of the United States from 1946 until his death in 1953. Vinson was one of the few Americans to have served in all three branches of the U.S. government. Before becoming chief justice,Vinson served as a U.S. Representative from Kentucky from 1924 to 1928 and 1930 to 1938,as a federal appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1938 to 1943,and as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1945 to 1946.
Telford Taylor was an American lawyer and professor. Taylor was known for his role as lead counsel in the prosecution of war criminals after World War II,his opposition to McCarthyism in the 1950s,and his outspoken criticism of American actions during the Vietnam War.
Robert Porter Patterson Sr. was an American judge who served as Under Secretary of War under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and U.S. Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman. He was a US circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after he had been a district judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ex parte Quirin,317 U.S. 1 (1942),was a case of the United States Supreme Court that during World War II upheld the jurisdiction of a United States military tribunal over the trial of eight German saboteurs,in the United States. Quirin has been cited as a precedent for the trial by military commission of unlawful combatants.
Isaac Woodard Jr. was an American soldier and victim of racial violence. An African-American World War II veteran,on February 12,1946,hours after being honorably discharged from the United States Army,he was attacked while still in uniform by South Carolina police as he was taking a bus home. The attack and his injuries sparked national outrage and galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States.
Adrian Sanford Fisher was an American lawyer and federal public servant,who served from the late 1930s through the early 1980s. He was associated with the Department of War and Department of State throughout his professional career. He participated in the U.S. government's decision to carry out Japanese-American internment and the international (1945–46) Nuremberg trial,and in State Department Cold War activities during the Harry S. Truman administration. He was the State Department Legal Adviser under Secretary of State Dean Acheson. During the John F. Kennedy,Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter administrations,Fisher was directly involved in the negotiations of international nuclear testing and non-proliferation agreements.
Donald Stuart Russell was an American attorney from South Carolina who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Administration,President of the University of South Carolina,governor of South Carolina,U.S. Senator from South Carolina,United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
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. After the committee submitted a report of its findings to President Truman,it disbanded in December 1947.
Truman Kella Gibson,Jr. was an African-American businessman,attorney,government advisor,and later influential boxing promoter who played a unique and unheralded role in the Civil Rights Movement,primarily as a member of the "Black Cabinet" of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
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Francis M. Shea was an American lawyer,law professor and United States government official.
Kenneth Claiborne Royall Jr. was an American politician and businessman.