1964: The Civil Rights Act

Moment in History:

The 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed by Lyndon B. Johnson, outlawed discrimination and segregation in public facilities, government, and employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The act is a landmark gesture in the country’s attempt to bring an end to the rampant racial discrimination that influenced policy and limited the rights of citizens. Originally, the Civil Rights Act was meant to protect the rights of black males, but soon was amended to include everyone in the United States.

Many believe that the Republican Party developed a strategy referred to as the Southern Strategy during the Civil Rights era in order to garner the majority of voting support from a white majority of southern voters. This strategy was meant promote their reputation as the party that protects and preserves white interest groups while pointing towards the Democratic Party’s alliance with minorities. After signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Johnson is famously quoted as saying, “we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.”

More information at:

We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement

Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson