In 1963, the prospects for a long-awaited civil rights bill looked dim. One book published that year called the situation hopeless, saying that Americans “underestimate the extent to which our system was designed for deadlock and inaction.” But a year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the law of the land.
So how did something that seemed so unlikely become a reality? On this episode, BackStory Radio's American History Guys mark the 50th anniversary of the law that ended segregation by tracing the various strands of history that culminated in the summer of 1964.
BackStory Radio, a program of the Virginia Humanities Foundation, is produced with support from grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).