The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 1, 2004

Reception Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act
Event Backgrounder
East Room, The White House

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark legislative event in the process to ensure justice and equality for all Americans. The Act eliminated racial restrictions on the use of public facilities, including: shopping, lodging, dining, entertainment establishments, and public transportation. It strengthened voting rights, outlawed discrimination in the work place, and created the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The Act was signed into law in the East Room on July 2, 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson in front of a national radio and television audience, dozens of influential members of Congress, then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and other prominent national community leaders.

During the 40th Anniversary Commemoration, the title page and signature page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will be on display on the State Floor, on loan from the National Archives. In addition, one of the pens used by President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Act will be on display.

Thurgood Marshall, Jr., son of Justice Thurgood Marshall
Luci Baines Johnson Turpin, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson
Cari Dominguez, Chair, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Honorable William Coleman, former Secretary of Transportation
Mary Frances Berry, Chair, U.S. Commission on Human Rights
Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity
Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
Louis Sullivan, Chairman, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Commission
Robert Woodson, Founder and President, National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
130 Invited Guests, including representatives of the civil rights community.


Return to this article at:

Click to print this document