"Well they passed a law in '64
To give those who ain't got a little more
But it only goes so far
Because the law don't change another's mind...

That's just the way it is
Some things will never change
That's just the way it is
But don't you believe them"

~ Bruce Hornsby - The Way It Is The Way It Is 1986

Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Johnson welcomed the bill he had sought for so long. Within a few hours of passage, he signed it into law in a nationwide television broadcast from the White House. On July 2, 1964, President Johnson spoke the following words before signing the bill:

We believe that all men are created equal  -  yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain inalienable rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty - yet millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skins.

The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand without rancor or hatred how all this happens. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I sign tonight forbids it...

Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,
but it can keep him from lynching me,
and I think that's pretty important."

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression;
in order that every man present his views without penalty
there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population."

~ Albert Einstein

Major Features of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(Public Law 88-352)


Title I
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
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
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 IV
Authorized but did not require withdrawal of federal funds from programs which practiced discrimination.

Title V
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.

NOTE: The text of the entire act is posted at  http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/laws/majorlaw/civilr19.htm

Source: CongressLink: "Major Features of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

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