July 2: Civil Rights Act 1964
On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. One of the greatest achievements of the post-World War II civil rights movement, the Act outlawed numerous forms of discrimination in the United States. This included providing for the desegregation of public facilities (such as restrooms and water fountains) and equal hiring processes. The law applied to any discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” President Johnson, a Southerner, used his influence to push the Act through Congress following the death of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy.