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D. Civil Rights Act, 1964

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D. Civil Rights Act, 1964

Primary source:
U.S. Congress, Civil Rights Act, federal law, 1964.
Background information: Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–73) succeeded to the presidency after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917–63) in November 1963. Drawing on his long experience as a U.S. senator, President Johnson spearheaded congressional passage of key pieces of civil-rights legislation in 1964 and 1965. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, excerpted below, provides for equal access to all public accommodations, thereby abolishing the federal government's tacit acceptance of or acquiescence to segregation between blacks and whites. [ . . . ]

. . . All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin. [ . . . ]

. . . Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of any of the rights secured by this title, and that the pattern or practice is of such a nature and is intended to deny the full exercise of the rights herein described, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States by filing with it a complaint . . . requesting such preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or other order against the person or persons responsible for such pattern or practice, as he deems necessary to insure the full enjoyment of the rights herein described.

[ . . . ]

Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Statutes at Large 78 (1964): 241–68. Full text of the act is at Our Documents,

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