On this day in 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. This legislation ended the use of discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin. By the middle of the 20th century slavery had been abolished for nearly 100 years, yet African Americans in Southern states still faced disenfranchisement, segregation and threats of violence. Deeply entrenched “Jim Crow” laws at the local and state levels barred them from classrooms and bathrooms, from theaters and train cars, from juries and legislatures. The brave citizens who boycotted buses, staged sit-ins at lunch counters, organized voter registration drives and the students who faced angry mobs to attend desegregated schools forever changed American society.
Isn't it odd how America is the land of the free, yet we as a country have and continue to discriminate against those that are different? The fight for equality has never been an easy one. From the Native American Indians to the African Americans to Women's Rights to Gay Rights, the fight for freedom has always been a long and arduous road. On this July 4th weekend, let us remember those that have given so much for that fight and hope for a day when ALL Americans are truly free.