Civil Rights Act of 1964

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Civil Rights Act of 1964

Legislation in the United States that prohibited racial discrimination in government, education and employment. It prohibited businesses from refusing to serve persons on the basis of race and it required judges to apply voter registration requests equally to all races. It invalidated state laws establishing racial segregation, and had the effect in some states of requiring school districts to bus students to other districts to conform to racial quotas. The Act is considered a landmark of the American civil rights movement.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

On November 27, 1963, newly sworn-in President Lyndon Johnson

called for the passage of a new civil rights bill, as a tribute to the late President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated only weeks earlier. The resulting bill was signed into law on July 7, 1964, with a stated purpose: “To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education,to extend the Commission on Civil Rights,to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.” It has come to be identified with halting discrimination in public accommodations—restaurants, hotels, and other public facilities.