David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D.
1964 Civil Rights Act Commemoration
(Archival Page)

Yearlong, Campus-Wide Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Freedom Summer

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The Act outlawed discrimination in employment and segregation in public accomodations such as hospitals and restaurants. It also forbade the use of federal funds for segregated facilities such as schools.

That summer, several dozen college students, organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, descended on the state of Mississippi to help register African-Americans to vote. They faced intimidation and violence, and three of them were murdered outside the town of Philadelphia.

Throughout 2014, Governors State University commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Freedom Summer with a series of educational events.

The committee would like to thank everyone who participated in GSU's commemoration of this important milestone in United States history!


Civil Rights Act Curriculum: Committee member Elizabeth Johnson, with the assistance of GSU student Genevieve Robinson, compiled a series of classroom activities on the national and global impact of the 1964 CR Act.

Civil Rights Film Series: Committee members screened films throughout the year. Each film was followed by a group discussion.

Constitution Day, observed on September 16, focused on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (coordinated by Prof. Elizabeth Johnson). CLick HERE for more information.

The Midwest World History Association Conference was hosted by GSU on September 26-27. The topic was “Civil and Human Rights in World History,” and it was coordinated by Prof. Andrae Marak, a member of that organization's board of directors.

Hogtown, the latest film by Profs. Daniel Nearing and Sanghoon Lee, was screened on Novermber 3 in the Science Lecture Hall. Click HERE for more information.

Student Conference: On November 6 GSU hosted the student conference "How Far We Have Come, How Far We Have Yet to Go!" Interested students were asked to send This Form to Program Chair Prof. Ben Almassi by October 15, 2014. Click for the flyer and the program. We also earned coverage from TPS-GSU.

“A Raisin in the Sun,” directed by Prof. Patrick Santoro, was the GSU fall student theatrical production. This event included a pre-performance panel discussion.

Understanding Ferguson: On December 4 in Sherman Hall, Prof. Vince Jones held a teaching moment to move the discussion of Ferguson in a more positive direction. Invited guests included community leaders, civil rights organizers, police officials, and faculty.

The Spring semester portion of the 2014 Civil Rights Film Series at GSU was made possible by a generous grant from the Intellectual Life Committee.

All films were free and open to the public.

All films were screened from DVD format and most contained the option for closed captioning for the hearing impaired. Persons requesting captions were asked to contact Prof. Golland in advance to request captions for any particular film.


The GSU 1964 Committee
Dr. David Golland, coordinator
Dr. Ben Almassi
Dr. Lucianne Brown
Dr. Donald Culverson
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson
Dr. Larry Levinson
Dr. Andrae Marak
Ms. Jeanne McInerney
Dr. Rashidah Muhammed
Mr. Jeff Stevenson
Dr. Aurelio Valente
Dr. Dwight Vick


Recommended Readings

Bruce Watson
Freedom Summer:
The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy
(NY: Penguin Books, 2011)


James T. Patterson
Eve of Destruction:
How 1965 Transformed America
(NY: Basic Books, 2012)


Terry Anderson
The Pursuit of Fairness
A History of Affirmative Action
(NY: Oxford University Press, 2005)


Mary Frances Berry
And Justice for All
The United States Commission on Civil Rights and the Continuing Struggle for Freedom in America
(NY: Knopf, 2009)


Nancy MacLean
Freedom Is Not Enough
The Opening of the American Work Place
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008)


Taylor Branch
Parting the Waters
America in the King Years, 1954-1963
(NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007)


Dennis Dickerson
Militant Mediator
Whitney M. Young Jr.
(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998)


Todd Gitlin
The Sixties
Years of Hope, Days of Rage
(NY: Bantam Books, 1997)


Christopher Manning
William L. Dawson and the Limits of Electoral Leadership
(Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009)


Hugh Davis Graham
The Civil Rghts Era
Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960-1972
(NY: Oxford University Press, 1990)


Books by Committee Members:
David Hamilton Golland
Constructing Affirmative Action
The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity
(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011)


Books by Committee Members:
Donald R. Culverson
Contesting Apartheid
U.S. Activism, 1960-1987
(NY: Avalon Publishing, 1999)


Books by Committee Members:
Elizabeth Johnson
Resistance and Empowerment in Black Women's Hair Styling
The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity
(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011)


On This Day in 1964
Primary Sources

June 19, 1964
After an 83-day filibuster, the senate approved the Civil Rights Act and sent it to the White House for President Johnson's signature.
Click here for the primary source.


June 21, 1964
Three Civil Rights workers participating in Freedom Summer disappeared from Philadelphia, Mississippi. After an extensive search involving the F.B.I., the bodies of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman were found in an earthen dam on August 4.
Click here for the primary source.


July 2, 1964
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the most comprehensive civil rights act since Reconstruction.
Click here for the primary source.


August 27, 1964
The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) sent an interracial delegation to the Democratic convention in Atlantic City. They rejected the proposal to give them two seats at the convention.
Click here for the primary source.


December 10, 1964
The Nobel Foundation awards its Nobel Peace Prize to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Click here for the primary source.



February 6, 2014, 6:30pm
Film: Rosewood
Moderator: Prof. David Golland
E Lounge
February 18, 2014, 3:00pm
Discussion: Civil Rights for Incarcerated Individuals
Student Union
February 19, 2014, 6:00pm
National African-American Read-In
Moderator: Prof. Rashidah Muhammad
Cafeteria Annex
February 21, 2014, 7:00pm
Film: The Vernon Johns Story
Moderator: Prof. David Golland
Hall of Honors
February 27, 2014, 10:00am
MLK Commemorative Program
Featuring Linal Harris
Center for Performing Arts
February 28, 2014, 7:30pm
Black Women Rock! Awards Show
Center for Performing Arts
March 4, 2014, 7:00pm
Film: Boycott
Moderator: Prof. David Golland
Cafeteria Annex
March 26, 2014, 7:00pm
Film: The Rosa Parks Story
Moderator: Prof. Rashidah Muhammad
Cafeteria Annex
April 7, 2014, 6:30pm
Film: Men of Honor
Moderator: Prof. Andrae Marak
Cafeteria Annex
April 21, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: Get on the Bus
Moderator: Prof. David Golland
Science Lecture Hall (F1622)
May 1, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: The Five Heartbeats
Moderator: Art Gallery Director
Jeff Stevenson
E Lounge
July 9, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: Mississippi Burning
Moderator: Prof. Dwight Vick
July 28, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: 4 Little Girls
Moderator: Prof. Rashidah Muhammed
August 26, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: Murder in Mississippi
Moderator: Prof. Dwight Vick
September 16, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: Freedom Song
Moderator: Prof. Rashidah Muhammad
September 16, 2014, 7:30pm
September 26-27, 2014
Midwest World History
Association Conference
September 30, 2014, 5:00pm
Film: Selma, Lord, Selma
Moderator: Prof. David Golland
October 7, 2014, 5:00
Film: White Dog
Moderator: Art Gallery Director Jeff Stevenson
October 22, 2014, 5:00
Film: Do the Right Thing
Moderator: Prof. Duane Davis
Engbretson Hall
November 3, 2014, 6:00
Film: Hogtown
Moderators: Profs. Daniel Nearing (director)
and Sanghoon Lee (producer)
November 6, 2014, 9:00-3:30
November 6 and 8, 2014, 7:30
and November 9, 2014, 2:00
TAPS Presents "A Raisin in the Sun"
Center for Performing Arts
November 24, 2014, 5:00
Film: Ghosts of Mississippi
Moderator: Prof. Dwight Vick
Hall of Honors
December 4, 2014, 11:30
December 4, 2014, 5:00
Film: White Man's Burden
Moderated by the Committee


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