The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on July Second, 1964.
It prohibited discrimination in any public place, provided for integration of schools and more public facilities, and was making employment discrimination an illegal activity.
The document was the most sweeping legislation on civil rights since the Reconstruction.
In a nationwide televised address on June Sixth, 1963, President Kennedy urged our nation to take action to guarantee equal treatment of all Americans regardless of their race.
Soon after that, President Kennedy proposed that the U.S. Congress should be considering civil rights legislation addressing voting rights, public accommodation, school desegregations, nondiscrimination at federally assisted programs, and much more.
Despite President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas in November 1963, his proposals culminated in our Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law only a few hours after the House approved it on July Second, 1964.
The Civil Rights Act outlawed segregation in many businesses, such as hotels, theaters, and restaurants.
The act banned discrimination practices in any employment and made an end to segregation in many public places like swimming pools, libraries, or public schools.
The passage of the Civil Rights Act wasn’t easy. Opposition in the House bottled up this bill in the U.S. House Rules Committee.
Opponents in the U.S. Senate made attempts to talk this bill to death in a so-called filibuster.
However, in the early days of 1964, supporters of the act in the House overcame the obstacle of the Rules Committee as they threatened to send the bill to the House floor without any committee approval.
And the Senate filibuster was dealt with through Senator Hubert Humphrey’s floor leadership (Minnesota), the admirable support of President Johnson, and Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen’s efforts (Illinois), who managed to convince Republicans to support this bill.
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Last Updated on February 6, 2021.