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Japan, Immigration, World Cup: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning. Earthquake in Japan, showdown in Washington and tough match for South Korea. Here’s what you need to know.

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

“The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment. It will not be stayed or denied. It is here!” the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, Everett Dirksen, said to a packed chamber.

Just over a week later, on this day in 1964, the Senate passed the Civil Rights Act — one of the most momentous pieces of legislation in the country’s history.

Drafted by President John F. Kennedy and pressed after his assassination by President Lyndon Johnson, the bill made many forms of discrimination illegal at the federal level. The central issue was race.

The measure had to overcome overwhelming opposition by Democrats from the South, where racist policies had been enshrined in law for decades after the end of the Civil War and the banishment of slavery.

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina insisted that “no men of any race can legislate their way to a more abundant life,” and that “they must earn such a life by their own achievements, sacrifices, and exertions.”

The bill prevailed. The Senate vote, 73 to 27, cleared the way for final congressional approval. President Johnson signed the act into law on July 2, with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in attendance.

Nancy Wartik wrote today’s Back Story.

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