July 2014 Special Recognition
The National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (National Consortium) celebrates the Fourth of July, and we also recognize two other historic milestones that occurred during the second quarter of 2014.
The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day began in the 18th century with the American Revolution. In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies created a resolution that declared their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
July 2, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of signing the Civil Rights Bill. On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill. The Bill outlawed discrimination in public accommodations based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin or gender.
Another historic event occurred on May 17, 1954 when the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial segregation in our Nation's schools. Brown v. Board of Education shifted the legal and moral compass of our Nation. It declared that education "must be made available to all on equal terms" and that America's promise excluded no one.
On the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, let us heed the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who so ably argued the case against segregation, "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody...bent down and helped us pick up our boots." Let us march together, meet our obligations to one another, and remember that progress has never come easily -- but even in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it. (Excerpts from the 2014 Presidential Proclamation -- 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education)
The National Consortium recognizes all of these milestone events as our Nation’s effort to promote fairness and equality for all people regardless of their uniqueness in color, race or creed.