1964 – President Johnson signs Civil Rights Act


On July 2, 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House.

In the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. The 10 years that followed saw great strides for the African American civil rights movement, as non-violent demonstrations won thousands of supporters to the cause.

Memorable landmarks in the struggle included the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955—sparked by the refusal of Alabama resident Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger—and the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. at a rally of hundreds of thousands in Washington, D.C., in 1963.

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