The times they were a changin'.....
Some laws capture the feelings and attitudes of an entire decade. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is such a law. In the years before its passage, events such as Brown v. Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock Nine, the March on Washington (see photo), and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, all pointed to the need for legislative reform at the national level.
Initially suggested by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 when he urged Americans to take action toward guaranteed equal treatment of all citizens, the act was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964. It "prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal."
Extensive resources into the Civil Rights movement can be found at the Historical Publications of the United States Commission on Civil Rights site hosted by the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall Law Library, and at the home page of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.