1942 May 7

NY Governor Signs Two Early Anti-Discrimination Bills


New York State passed two early civil rights laws, and the governor signed them on this day. One barred race discrimination in defense industries, and the second gave the State Industrial Commissioner the power to investigate charges of racial discrimination in employment. These laws are among the first to bar race discrimination in the U.S.

Discrimination in employment on the basis of race did not become U.S. policy until the passage of the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed on July 2, 1964.

Learn more about African American history: Henry Louis Gates, Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 (2011)

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