Civil Rights Act at 50: Michigan was a pioneer

Jul 2, 2014

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law 50 years ago today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended the ceremony.
Credit Flickr - U.S. Embassy New Delhi

On Friday, our nation celebrates its 238th birthday. But today, America is also observing the passage of one of the most significant laws ever crafted in its history.  On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law that forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was born in an era of violence and intolerance in America.

Just a year before, the Michigan Constitution of 1963 created a civil rights commission becoming the first state ever to do so. Leslee Fritz, the deputy director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, speaks with Current State about Michigan’s civil rights history and legacy.