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Civil Rights Act of 1964

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was landmark legislation that addressed the prejudice occurring in society in the U.S. at the time. Through its 11 titles, it banned discrimination and segregation based on race, religion, natural origin, and sex in employment and in all public places, such as schools, hotels, restaurants, churches, and hospitals.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also led to other civil rights laws over subsequent years.

How did it come about? By the early 1960s, the civil rights movement had brought national attention to racial barriers in education, public transportation, and use of public accommodations, such as restaurants and theaters.

In the wake of harsh treatment of peaceful protestors by the police and the murders of civil rights activists, President John F. Kennedy called for a meaningful civil rights bill in 1963.

His efforts were filibustered in the Senate. After Kennedy's assassination that year, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, took up the cause. With the support of activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the bill passed in the House and Senate in 1964.

In the decades since the law's passage, prohibitions against discrimination have been expanded. Here's what the 1964 law includes, as well as a look at subsequent civil rights legislation.

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