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Gov. Terry McAuliffe welcomes 6 Freedom Riders to Richmond on July 2, 2014, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

Landmark Legislation: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

The longest continuous debate in Senate history took place in 1964 over the Civil Rights Act. Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who had proposed the legislation, it was strongly advocated by his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson. Addressing a joint session of Congress just after Kennedy’s death, Johnson urged members of Congress to honor Kennedy’s memory by passing a civil rights bill to end racial discrimination and segregation in public accommodations, public education, and federally assisted programs. In his address, Johnson declared, “we have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. We have talked for one hundred years or more. It is time now to write the next chapter, and to write it in the books of law.”  Read more about it at the US Senate’s website.

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