Landmark Legislation Still Holds Significance for Millions of Americans
TAMPA, Fla. - Several government agencies will join forces on July 2 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. The landmark legislation, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, was envisioned and drafted by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and was enacted in 1964 following his assassination.
The EEOC's Tampa Field Office will join the Hillsborough County Office of Community Affairs and the City of Tampa's Office of Human Rights to host an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the law. The event will be held at the John F. Germany Library Auditorium, located at 900 North Ashley Street in downtown Tampa.
"Many people fought and worked exceedingly hard for the legal protections men and women of all races, religion, color, and national origin have today," said Malcolm S. Medley, the EEOC's district director in Miami. "To paraphrase President Lyndon B. Johnson, no memorial, oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor their memory than upholding and celebrating the civil rights bill for which they fought so long. Our goal is not only to celebrate its passage, but to also encourage everyone to join us in working towards true and lasting equality."
The law, described in 1964 as "an idea whose time has come," was enacted following some of the most difficult and violent days of the civil rights movement, and over the strong objections of some of the significant political figures of the day.
The lunchtime commemoration, which begins at 12:00 noon on July 2, will feature presentations and commentaries by national, state and local representatives on national events which led to the passage of the act, local events which shaped Tampa Bay's history, and the promise of the future. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
EEOC Tampa Field Office Director Georgia Marchbanks remarked, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is without question one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever enacted. We must take the time to acknowledge the great opportunities and protections this law has created for us."
Commemoration events have or will be held by many agencies and organizations across the country, to include the EEOC Miami District Office's event on July 2 at Florida International University's Kovens Conference Center in North Miami.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Further information about the agency is available at www.eeoc.gov.