Isaac Woodard

Isaac Woodard

Victim of Racial Abuse
Born Mar 18, 1919

Isaac Woodard, Jr. , often written Isaac Woodward, was an African American World War II veteran whose 1946 beating and maiming, hours after being discharged from the United States Army, sparked national outrage and galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States. Still in uniform, Woodard was left completely and permanently blind after a run-in with police.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Isaac Woodard.


1919 Birth Born on March 18, 1919.


1942 23 Years Old On October 14, 1942, the 23-year-old Woodard enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. … Read More
…  Hours after being honorably discharged from the United States Army on February 12, 1946, he was attacked while still in uniform by South Carolina police over a dispute with a bus driver over the use of the restroom. … Read More
1947 28 Years Old …  He asked them to report by the end of 1947. Truman made a strong speech on civil rights on June 29, 1947 to the NAACP, the first American president to speak to their meeting, which was broadcast by radio from where they met on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. … Read More
1948 29 Years Old 1 More Event
On February 2, 1948, President Truman sent the first comprehensive civil rights bill to Congress. It incorporated many of the 35 recommendations of his commission. In July 1948, over the objection of senior military officers, Truman issued Executive Order 9981, banning racial discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces, and Executive Order 9980 to integrate the federal government. (Facilities had been segregated under President Woodrow Wilson). … Read More


1952 33 Years Old Because of his low approval ratings and a bad showing in early primaries, President Truman chose not to seek re-election in 1952, though he could have done so. … Read More
1955 36 Years Old Orson Welles revisited the Woodard case in the May 7, 1955, broadcast of his BBC TV series, Orson Welles' Sketch Book. … Read More


1988 69 Years Old Woodard was the focus of Welles's four subsequent broadcasts. "The NAACP felt that these broadcasts did more than anything else to prompt the Justice Department to act on the case," wrote the Museum of Broadcasting in a 1988 exhibit on Welles. … Read More
1992 74 Years Old Isaac Woodard moved North after the trial and lived in the New York City area for the rest of his life. He died at age 73 in the Veterans Administration Hospital in the Bronx on September 23, 1992.
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