On this day in history - July 2nd, 1964 - the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed into law.
President John F. Kennedy was the first President in the civil rights era to call for reform against discrimination. He said that 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" and "greater protection for the right to vote" was necessary.
After Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took office, he finished what Kennedy started.
The bill gave the federal government the power to prosecute discriminators and enforce desegregation in broad terms.
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