John F. Kennedy: Executive Order 10925 (1961)

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

The phrase “affirmative action” was first used in Executive Order 10925, signed by Kennedy on March 6, 1961. The order put the responsibility on contractors and employers to

“take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”

The order also established the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity (which was chaired by then Vice President, Lyndon Johnson).