President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964
President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King looking over his shoulder. Johnson correctly predicted the bill's passage would "deliver the south to the Republican party for a long time to come." (White House Press Office photo.)

INSTITUTE INDEX: Looking back on the 'law that created modern America'

Date on which President Lyndon Johnson, facing growing national unrest over racial segregation, signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has been called "the law that created modern America" by outlawing discrimination in public accommodations, workplaces and federally funded programs based on race, gender, religion or national origin: 7/2/1964

Date on which the first version of the bill -- proposed by President Kennedy and written by the Justice Department with an eye to the 67 votes needed to overcome a likely Senate filibuster -- was first sent to Congress: 6/19/1963

Number of civil rights demonstrations that took place in U.S. cities during a three-week period beginning that May: nearly 1,000

By 1963, percent of African Americans who had taken part in a civil rights protest: 40

Number of people who took part in the Great March on Washington for civil rights in August 1963: 200,000 to 300,000

Date on which President Kennedy was assassinated in Texas: 11/22/1963

Number of days after Kennedy's assassination that President Johnson, speaking to a joint session of Congress, declared that we "had talked along enough in this country about equal rights" and that it was time "to write it in the books of law": 5

Date on which the House passed a version of the bill that had been revised to strengthen its civil rights protections, passing it on to the Senate: 2/10/1964

House vote on the bill: 290-130

House vote among Democrats representing Southern states: 11-92

Date on which human rights leaders Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X met for the first and what would be the only time, at the U.S. Capitol to hear Senate debate on the bill: 3/26/1964

Number of U.S. Senators, all representing Southern states and dubbed the "Southern bloc," who launched a filibuster to prevent the bill's passage: 19

Rank of that filibuster among the longest in Senate history: 1

Straight hours that one Southern bloc member -- Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a Democrat and former Ku Klux Klan member -- spoke at one point during the filibuster: 14

Rank of Sen. Strom Thurmond, then a Democrat representing South Carolina, among the bill's angriest opponents, criticizing it as "reminiscent" of Reconstruction: 1

Of the 19 Southern bloc members, number who were Democrats: 18

Between 1933 and 1964, percent of 26 major civil rights votes that were opposed by a majority of Democrats: 80

Percent of major civil rights votes opposed by Republicans during that same period: less than 4

Number of months the Southern bloc held up consideration of the bill while pro-civil rights forces organized within and outside of Congress: 3

Number of major national organizations representing a wide range of interests that joined together to support the bill's passage: nearly 100

Number of concerned citizens that Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen, an Illinois Republican who led the effort to pass the bill, estimated he heard from on the matter: at least 100,000

Date on which the Senate voted to end the filibuster after Dirksen crafted a compromise bill de-emphasizing federal enforcement in employment and public accommodations cases: 6/10/1964

Number of days Southern senators managed to further stall action by calling up many amendments, with most of those that came up for consideration defeated by large margins: 7

Date on which the Senate passed the bill: 6/19/2014

Final Senate vote on the bill: 73-27

Date on which the House passed the Senate version of the bill following a fight to block efforts to change it substantially: 7/2/1964

Final House vote on the bill: 289-126

Number of hours after the final House vote that President Johnson signed the bill into law during a nationwide TV broadcast from the White House, saying afterward that he thought "we just delivered the south to the Republican party for a long time to come": a few

In the 90 years before 1964, number of times Republicans won a majority of Southern states in presidential elections: 0

In response to the bill's passage, number of states in the Old Confederacy that swung Republican in the 1964 presidential election, which Johnson still won in a landslide: 5

Number of former Confederate states that voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in 1968 amid the Republicans' adoption of the "Southern strategy" of gaining political support by appealing to racism against African Americans: 1

In the five presidential elections from 1972 to 1988, number of times Republicans won at least 90 percent of the electoral votes in former Confederate states: 4

Year in which Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman formally apologized to the NAACP for his party's political use of racial polarization: 2005

Percent of current Congressional Black Caucus members who are Democrats: 100

Percent of House Republicans who were from the South in 1994: 30

Percent of House Republicans who are from the South today: 42

Percent of the Tea Party Caucus that's from the South: more than 60

Year in which Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Tea Party Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, said he thought the Civil Rights Act was too broad and should not apply to private businesses, though in response to the resulting uproar he said that he would not seek to repeal the law: 2010

Year in which Rep. Ted Yoho, a Tea Party Republican from Florida, said at a town hall meeting that he wasn't "100 percent" sure the Civil Rights Act is constitutional, though he later issued a statement saying it was: 2014

In a recent poll, percent of African Americans who said that in the previous year they personally experienced discrimination or were treated unfairly because of their race: 35

Percent of Hispanic respondents who said the same: 20

Percent of the U.S. population that was non-white in 1960: 11

Percent of the U.S. population that is non-white today: over 27

In the last six presidential elections, number of times Republicans have won the popular vote: 1

(Click on figure to go to source.)

Image: 
President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King looking over his shoulder. Johnson correctly predicted the bill's passage would "deliver the south to the Republican party for a long time to come." (White House Press Office photo.)
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