Rosa Parks and Congressman Walter Fauntroy holding a framed picture of President Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Photo Credit: © Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

United States – Civil Rights Act Of 1964

In 1964, Congress passed Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as race, in hiring, promoting, and firing.

The Act prohibited discrimination in public accommodations and federally-funded programs. It also strengthened the enforcement of voting rights and the desegregation of schools.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the nation’s benchmark civil rights legislation, and it continues to resonate in America. Passage of the Act ended the application of “Jim Crow” laws, which had been upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the Court held that racial segregation purported to be “separate but equal” was constitutional. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was eventually expanded by Congress to strengthen enforcement of these fundamental civil rights.


  • History. 2010. “Civil Rights Act of 1964.” History.
  • Gold, S. Dudley .2011. The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 64, 129. ISBN 978-1-60870-040-0.
  • Loevy, Robert. 1997., The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law that Ended Racial Segregation, State University of New York Press, p. 171. ISBN 0-7914-3362-5.