1968 April 11

Congress Passes Fair Housing Act


Congress had consistently refused to pass a law banning housing discrimination since the 1964 Civil Rights Act (signed into law on July 2, 1964), which did not cover race discrimination in housing. It was finally shamed into passing the Fair Housing Act, officially Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, after the assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, and the riots that followed. Federal troops guarded Congress while it passed the law. President Lyndon Johnson signed the law the same day.

The law also included the anti-riot act and the Indian Civil Rights Act (see the separate entries on this day).

The Supreme Court affirmed and strengthened the Fair Housing Act in a crucial decision on June 25, 2015.

Learn more: John Yinger, Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of Housing Discrimination (1995)

Learn about housing discrimination at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights:

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