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The President's Daily Diary: July 02, 1964

On the evening of July 2, 1964, only hours after passage of the bill, on live television, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, at the White House. He then met with prominent civil rights leaders who had attended the signing ceremony. The Act was the most far-reaching civil rights legislation since the Reconstruction era. It contained provisions to help guarantee Negroes the right to vote; to outlaw racial segregation in public facilities; to authorize the federal government to sue to desegregate public facilities and schools; to allow federal funds to be cut if programs were administered discriminatorily; to outlaw a number of employment practices based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; and to establish a Community Relations Service to assist in resolving problems. Earlier in the afternoon, President Johnson had attended the swearing-in ceremony of General Maxwell Taylor as the newly appointed Ambassador to Vietnam and a meeting of his Cabinet in the Cabinet Room. In the evening, following a reception for eighteen Latin American ambassadors, President and Mrs. Johnson departed for the LBJ Ranch.

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