Speeches and articles
Black History Month: In 1964, House Passes Civil Rights Act
February 10, 2012
On this day in 1964, after 12 days of debate and votes on 125 amendments, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act by a vote of 290-130. The bill, which went on to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, prohibited any state or local government, public facility, labor organization or interstate commercial company from discriminating on the basis of race or ethnicity. The law also gave the U.S. Attorney General the power to bring school desegregation law suits and allowed the federal government to cut off federal funding to companies or states who discriminated and to compile records of denial of voting rights. This landmark legislation went a long way toward righting the wrongs of our past and making the U.S. a beacon of liberty and equality for the entire world.