The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination in employment on grounds of race or sex. Employers were forbidden to refuse employment or to fire someone because simply they don't like the color of that person's skin or other reasons based on race. Since then protection has been extended. In practise employers who want to discriminate can sometimes find other excuses.
The Civil Rights Act was first started by John F. Kennedy in his Civil Rights Address of June 11, 1963. Sadly, he was senselessly and brutally murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson.