Signed by President Kennedy, Executive Order 10925 establishes the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity (to be renamed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1964).
Included in its provisions is the first reference to "affirmative action" -- requiring that government contractors give full and fair consideration to previously under-represented groups (i.e., minorities, women) when hiring.
The passage reads: "The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color or national origin. The contractor will 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."
* Text of Executive Order 10925 (from www.eeoc.gov): @
* Entry from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: @
* American Association for Affirmative Action: @
* Links to many other related sites: @
* "The Affirmative Action Debate" (book by George E. Curry, Cornel West): @