1964 After 12 days of debate and voting on 125 amendments, the U.S. House of
Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by a vote of 290-130.
The bill prohibited any state or local government or public facility from
denying access to anyone because of race or ethnic origin. It further gave
the U.S. Attorney General the power to bring school desegregation law suits.
The bill allowed the federal government the power to bring school
desegregation law suits and to cut off federal funds to companies or states
who discriminated. It forbade labor organizations or interstate commercial
companies from discriminating against workers due to race or ethnic origins.
Lastly, the federal government could compile records of denial of
voting rights. After passage in the House, the bill went to the Senate,
which after 83 days of debate passed a similar package on June 19 by a vote
of 73 to 27. President Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation on July 2.
Later, future Georgia governor Lester Maddox would become the first person
prosecuted under the Civil Rights Act.