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JFK Signs Bill Prohibiting Racial Discrimination in Federal Housing

Nov. 20, 1962 - By a long-promised “stroke of the pen,” President Kennedy today prohibited racial and religious discrimination in housing built or purchased with Federal aid. In an executive order, he directed Federal agencies to take “all necessary and appropriate action” to that end. Administration officials said the order would apply principally to housing projects and apartments. When the regulations are drawn, they said, sales of private homes by individual owners will probably be exempt. Thus, the order is unlikely to affect houses that are not in commercially developed neighborhoods. Officials indicated that F.H.A.-insured loans for home improvements will be excluded, too. The President announced his action in an opening statement at his news conference tonight, a few minutes after signing the order. His action carried out a pledge he repeatedly made in his campaign for President in 1960.

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