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Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Signing Ceremony

Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Signing Ceremony  American History American Presidents Civil Rights Famous Historical Events Law and Politics Social Studies African American History

Image of a photograph depicting President Johnson speaking to a nationwide television audience from the White House just before signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The law passed after an 83-day filibuster in the U.S. Senate.  Its main parts are divided into eleven "Titles," summarized as follows:

Title I—Voting Rights
Barred unequal application of voter registration requirements, but did not abolish literacy tests sometimes used to disqualify African Americans and poor white voters.

Title II—Public Accommodations
Outlawed discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempted private clubs without defining "private," thereby allowing a loophole.

Title III—Desegregation of Public Facilities
Permitted Justice Department suits to secure desegregation of certain public facilities.

Title IV—Desegregation of Public Education
Encouraged the desegregation of public schools and authorized the U. S. Attorney General to file suits to force desegregation, but did not authorize busing as a means to overcome segregation based on residence.

Title V—Civil Rights Commission
Addressed procedures for the Commission, broadened its duties, and extended its life through January 1968.

Title VI—Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs
Authorized but did not require withdrawal of federal funds from programs which practiced discrimination.

Title VII—Equal Employment Opportunity
Outlawed discrimination in employment in any business exceeding twenty five people and creates an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to review complaints, although it lacked meaningful enforcement powers.

Title VIII—Registration and Voting Statistics
Directed the Census Bureau to collect registration and voting statistics based on race, color and national origin but provided that individuals could not be compelled to disclose such information.

Title IX—Intervention and Removal of Cases
Made reviewable in high federal courts the action of federal district courts in remanding a civil rights case to state court and authorized the Attorney General to intervene in certain private suits.

Title X—Community Relations Service
Created the Service to aid communities in resolving disputes relating to discriminatory practices based on race, color, or national origin.

Title XI—Miscellaneous  (See Summary of the law from Congress and the Nation, 1945-64 (Congressional Quarterly Service, 1965):  1638-41.

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library.

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