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US Civil Rights Act of 1964

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14 Questions

What event led to international outcry and national protests during the Kennedy administration?

Protests in Birmingham, Alabama

What was the primary focus of the proposed civil rights legislation?

Outlawing discrimination in public facilities

Who worked with President Lyndon Johnson to secure crucial votes for the Civil Rights Act?

Everett Dirksen

What event led to President Lyndon Johnson prioritizing the Civil Rights Act?

JFK's assassination

When was the Civil Rights Act signed into law?

July 2, 1964

What was President Lyndon Johnson's strategy to secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act?

Dislodging the tax bill and clearing the way for the Act

What was the significance of the Civil Rights Act to President Lyndon Johnson?

It was a way to honor JFK's memory

What was the primary goal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

To remove systemic racial prejudice

What was the outcome of the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954?

Segregation in public schools was declared unconstitutional

Why were African Americans unable to exercise their voting rights despite some efforts to address racial issues?

Southern politicians vetoed legislation

What was the name of the incident that drew attention to racial injustices in 1955?

The murder of Emmett Till

What was the purpose of advocacy groups like the NAACP and CORE?

To lobby the government and coordinate protests

What did President Eisenhower do in 1957?

He deployed federal troops to integrate Little Rock High School in Arkansas

What was the outcome of the desegregation crisis in Little Rock High School in Arkansas?

The school was integrated with the help of federal troops

Study Notes

  • The 1964 Civil Rights Act was the most significant piece of legislation in 20th-century US history, aimed at removing systemic racial prejudice.
  • Between the American Civil War and the first Reconstruction, segregation was established through Jim Crow laws, separating public facilities, washrooms, water fountains, hotels, and jobs, with the justice system favoring whites.
  • Segregation in the South was legally sanctioned, while de facto segregation existed in the North, limiting blacks' access to quality housing and jobs.
  • Advocacy groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Congress of Racial Equality, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed to lobby the government and coordinate protests.
  • Despite some efforts, the federal government did little to address racial issues, with southern politicians vetoing legislation and blacks unable to exercise their voting rights.
  • Landmark events like the murder of Emmett Till, the attempted integration of the University of Alabama, and the Montgomery bus boycott drew attention to racial injustices.
  • The Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional, paving the way for desegregation crises.
  • In 1957, President Eisenhower deployed federal troops to integrate Little Rock High School in Arkansas.
  • The Kennedy administration faced racial crises, including the Freedom Rides, James Meredith's university application, and protests in Birmingham, Alabama, which led to international outcry and national protests.
  • JFK's national address called for civil rights legislation, committing the federal government to action.
  • The proposed legislation aimed to outlaw discrimination in public facilities, protect voting rights, strengthen the Attorney General's authority, and prevent discrimination in federally funded institutions.
  • After JFK's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson prioritized the Civil Rights Act, recognizing its significance in honoring Kennedy's memory.
  • Johnson dislodged the tax bill, cleared the way for the Civil Rights Act, and worked with Everett Dirksen to secure crucial votes, leading to the bill's passage in the Senate and its signing into law on July 2, 1964.

Learn about the significant legislation in US history, aimed at removing systemic racial prejudice. Discover how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 came to be, from the struggles of the African American community to the efforts of advocacy groups and government leaders.

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