December 14, 1964: Racial Discrimination Prohibited in Private Hotels [VIDEO]

1 Posted by - April 15, 2023 - CIVIL RIGHTS, Video

On September 5, 1956, the Heart of Atlanta Motel opened for business. Owned by committed segregationist Moreton Rolleston, Jr., the hotel refused African American patrons as a matter of general policy.

Less than a decade later, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination in places of public accommodation that affect commerce. Rolleston sued the federal government, claiming that Congress had exceeded its constitutionally-granted power to regulate commerce.

In a landmark, unanimous ruling on December 14, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court firmly upheld the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and ordered the Heart of Atlanta Motel to cease refusing service to African Americans.

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