Congress. House Committee on Armed Forces. Inquiry into the Disturbances at
Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C., on July 20, 1969. Washington, D. C. GPO, 1969.
SuDoc No.: Y4.Ar5/2a:969-70/32
Date(s) of Hearings: December 15, 1969
Congress and Session: 91st - 1st
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On July 20, 1969, while men were preparing to land on the moon, a racial disturbance occurred
at the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that left one dead and several
wounded. This report gives the findings of a special subcommittee created to investigate
The incident occurred after a party attended by approximately 100 African-Americans and
75 whites. Several "minor" incidents occurred at the party and security was called in but no
violent acts were committed at this time. After the party a group of white Marines on their way
back to the base were assaulted by a group of African-American Marines. One white serviceman
died as a result of massive head wounds while several others were stabbed and beaten. Five
marines were held in connection with the death.
This report found that several factors contributed to the fatal incident including a lack
of communication, leadership, and discipline. However, it also found that:
"...today's marines are not 'all green.' There are white marines and black marines, and
each has his identity. In a day gone by, the reaction of the black to discrimination problems
was to work hard and persevere. Today, that enlistee has more racial pride, probably more
bitterness, more sensitivity to real or fancied oppression, and, as one black witness stated,
'often with a chip on his shoulder.'"