Civil Rights Act of 1964

(1964)

Enacted on July 2, 1964—in the year after President John F. Kennedy's assassination; the bloody campaign to integrate Birmingham, Alabama; and the first March on Washington, which featured Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech—the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the most important piece of civil rights legislation passed since the Reconstruction era. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination on a number of bases, including race, color, religion, national origin, and, with respect to employment, sex. Also of importance was the breadth of areas in which discrimination was outlawed, as the act prohibited discrimination in places of public accommodations, public facilities, federally assisted programs, employment, and voting. It also pushed for the full desegregation of schools and expanded the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which had been created by the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Last, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 created institutions for monitoring and...

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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (National Archives and Records Administration)

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