Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Although the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts of those working to end discrimination did not end with the passage of this act, it provided a major step forward in outlawing segregation in public facilities, businesses, and schools, as well as promoting enforcement of the right to vote. It also extended the life of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, prohibited discrimination in federally assisted programs, and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to assist in the implementation of the right to equal opportunities in employment. 

72636-jk1717_c582Efforts to pass the act into law were hard fought, as were efforts to make the new law understandable to the general public in order to ensure its proper enforcement. To aid this effort the Commission on Civil Rights produced this six-page special bulletin in August 1964 to summarize the new act. Summaries were provided for each section of the new act in outline form. This document is part of the many sources documenting civil rights efforts at the Amistad Research Center.

The Center has previously highlighted its digital collection of civil rights ephemera in previous blog posts, and we will be celebrating 2014’s many civil rights anniversaries with our last exhibition of the year, which will highlight the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement, beginning in September. Look for more information as we move closer to that exhibition.

Posted by Christopher Harter

Image from the Amistad Research Center. May not be reproduced without permission.

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