Lyndon B. Johnson
thirty-sixth U.S. PresidentWe believe that all men are created equal, yet many are denied equal treatment. On July 2, 1964, in a nationally televised address, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke of the significance of the civil rights act that he was about to sign into law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was the most sweeping civil rights legislation passed by Congress since Reconstruction, prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education, and outlawed segregation in public facilities. The landmark legislation came ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public educational facilities was unconstitutional. In the decade that followed the historic decision, the African-American civil rights movement made great strides in winning federal support for integration, and in 1960, John F. Kennedy made passage of a new civil rights bill one of the platforms of his successful presidential campaign. Vice President Lyndon Johnson served as chairman of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, and after the president was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Johnson vowed to carry out Kennedy's proposals for civil rights reform. On July 2, 1964, after lobbying hard for its passage, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.