Civil Rights Act
On this day in 1963, President John Kennedy called upon Congress to adopt comprehensive civil rights legislation. The measure was stalled for months, but Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, got to sign it into law in 1964 — signaling an end the long Jim Crow era. The law was weak at first but was strengthened over the years. The amendments, and courageous struggle by activists and other voters up to this day, have changed the face of American politics to the point that any mother may truly tell her child, you could be president some day. To learn more, visit the Miller Center at UVa.