1964 Civil Rights Act Fast Facts

November 22, 1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald assassinates President John F. Kennedy.

November 27, 1963 – President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking before a Joint Session of Congress, says, “No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy’s memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long.”

December 1963 – The House adjourns with the bill still in committee.

August 6, 1965 – Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 helps protect voter rights, especially for African Americans barred from voting by local governments. Preclearance, or federal pre-approval for voting changes, is required for jurisdictions with a history of disenfranchisement.

June 25, 2013 – In the case Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General, et al., the Supreme Court strikes down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act. The court deems federal preclearance no longer necessary.