President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Congress decided that a long standing policy which had denied participation of a large segment of the population from active service in the Corps, should be abolished.
As a result of a presidential directive, black men were recruited for duty with the Marine Corps. These men of color from all states were trained at Montford Point, apart of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the largest Marine base in the eastern United States.
Approximately twenty thousand black Marines received “boot training” at Montford Point Camp from 1942 – 1949.
Twenty years after World War II, in the summer of 1965, an enterprising group of Marine veterans from the Philadelphia areas formed and developed plans to hold a national reunion of Montford Pointers.
The late Cecil B. Moore, then president of the largest chapter of the NAACP and later a Philadelphia City Councilman, was a member of this founding group.. On September 17th and 18th, at the Adelphia Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, over 400 Marines, retired and active duty Marines representing 17 states, attended this reunion.
The Patriotic response led to the establishment of the Montford Point Marine Association, chartered in Pennsylvanian, Chapters were immediately organized in 11 major cities.
The first National Convention was held in Chicago in August 1966. Both the Senator Paul Douglas, who was a Marine veteran of World War II and Senatorial candidate Mr. Charles Percy, (Republican Senator from Illinois) addressed the membership.
One of the first official actions of the National Executive Council was to establish an open membership, which states “Membership in this Association shall be open to all Marines and Marine veterans who honorably served our country.”