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Civil Rights Act of 1964 facts for kids

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Civil Rights Act of 1964
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.
Enacted by the 88th United States Congress
Effective July 2, 1964
Public law [ 88-352 1981 U.S.C. § 1996b]
Statutes at Large 78 Stat. 241
Acts amended Civil Rights Act of 1957
Civil Rights Act of 1960
Titles amended 42
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 7152 by Emanuel Celler (DNY) on June 20, 1963
  • Committee consideration by Judiciary
  • Passed the House on February 10, 1964 (290–130)
  • Passed the Senate on June 19, 1964 (73–27) with amendment
  • House agreed to Senate amendment on July 2, 1964 (289–126)
  • Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964
Major amendments
Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
Civil Rights Act of 1991
No Child Left Behind Act
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
United States Supreme Court cases
Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States (1964)
Katzenbach v. McClung (1964)
Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education (1969)
Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971)
Ricci v. DeStefano (2009)

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.


The bill was called for by President John F. Kennedy in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963, in which he asked for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments", as well as "greater protection for the right to vote". Kennedy was moved to action following the elevated racial tensions and wave of black riots in the spring 1963.

Johnson's appeal to Congress

The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, changed the political situation. Kennedy's successor as president, Lyndon Johnson, made use of his experience in legislative politics, along with the bully pulpit he wielded as president, in support of the bill. In his first address to a joint session of Congress on November 27, 1963, Johnson told the legislators, "No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long."

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