From the African American Registry

Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lyndon Baines Johnson

On this date in 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law in America. The first of three such legislations was an attempt to deal with the increasing demands of African-
Americans for equal rights.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson asked for and received the most comprehensive civil-rights act up to that time. The act specifically prohibited discrimination in voting, education, and the use of public facilities. For the first time since the Supreme Court ruled on segregation in public schools in 1954, the federal government had a means of enforcing desegregation: Title VI of the act barred the use of federal funds for segregated programs and schools. In 1964, only two southern states (Tennessee and Texas) had more than 2% of their Black students enrolled in integrated schools. Because of Title VI, about 6% of the black students in the South were in integrated schools by the next year.

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