Civil Rights Act to go on display (Photos)

WASHINGTON — Original pages of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 go on display June 18 at the National Archives nearly 50 years after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill into law.

“It is one of the absolute landmark documents in American history,” says National Archives Exhibit Specialist Michael Hussey.

“It is just really kind of breathtaking how much change, at least on paper has been affected by this law.”

The bill ended racial segregation in schools and businesses. It also prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

“It is 29 pages long but even just on the first few pages, the changes are sweeping,” Hussey says.

On exhibit will be the first page along with the page signed by Johnson. He signed the act in July 1964.

The entire document is usually kept in a dark, temperature-controlled vault.

Visitors can see the first page until Sept. 16. The signature page is more sensitive to light and will only be on display until July 13.

The National Archives is located at 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

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