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WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law on July 2, 1964:
"Forty-three years ago on Monday, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. This event was a significant step on the path toward equality for all, and it changed the course of this nation's history.
"The Civil Rights Act prohibited racial discrimination in public places, such as hotels, restaurants, and theaters. Employers were prohibited from discriminating against employees based on race, and government agencies could lose federal funding if they were found to be using discriminatory practices.
"The sweeping changes brought about by the Civil Rights Act would not have been possible without the tireless work of countless brave individuals, who woke the nation to the oppression and hatred that many of our fellow citizens faced. My good friend, Congressman John Lewis, is one of those individuals who led the fight for justice, and is a true pillar of the civil rights movement. He, and many others like him, stood up to injustice and fought to right a centuries-old wrong. They were threatened, arrested, and beaten, and many ultimately gave their lives for the cause. The fruit of their efforts - the Civil Rights Act - finally gave them the rights they had been denied for so long, and opened the doors of opportunity for future generations.
"The progress made as a result of the Civil Rights Act is significant, but our journey toward equality for all is not yet complete. The recent Supreme Court decision regarding school desegregation shows that we cannot be complacent and that we must continue to fight to uphold and strengthen the principle of equal opportunity.
"On Monday, July 2nd, we recommit ourselves to achieving the noble goals that so many men and women bravely and selflessly fought for over 40 years ago. We must finish the job that they started, and make equal opportunity a reality for all."