This Day in History: President Lyndon B. Johnson Signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964

"My fellow citizens, we have come now to a time of testing. We must not fail. Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our nation whole."

— President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the Civil Rights Act

On June 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal.

Congress expanded the act in subsequent years, passing additional legislation in order to move toward more equality for African-Americans, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

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