An important historical fact to remember, congressional democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act.
Senate democrats filibustered the Civil Rights act for 57 working days, which included a speech by democrat Senator Robert Byrd against the bill that lasted fourteen straight hours. Byrd’s opposition was not surprising, since the late Senator got his start in politics as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan.
The filibuster was finally ended when the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, a Republican from Illinois, pushed for a closure vote in a speech that called for the democrats to end their filibuster and accept racial equality.
The Civil Rights Act was finally voted on, and passed with a majority of Republicans and minority of democrats voting for it.