Mansfield Library Celebrates 50 Years of Civil Rights Act

June 26, 2014

MISSOULA – The Civil Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964. Fifty years later, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana will celebrate the anniversary of one of the most important and influential pieces of American legislation with a limited-time exhibit.

The exhibit, titled “Civil Rights Act of 1964,” will trace the history and impact of civil rights legislation through government documents, the papers of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield and broadcast remarks by President Johnson to the nation upon signing the Civil Rights Act.

The exhibit will be on display in the main floor foyer of the library during regular hours through July 18. It is free and open to the public.

Mansfield played a vital role in guiding the divided Senate in approving the legislation. His involvement is well documented in his papers, which are housed at the library, along with a token of his impact on the legislation: One of the pens Johnson used to sign the Civil Rights Act was gifted to Mansfield, and now is on display with the exhibit.

An essay about Mansfield’s role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act is available online at

For more information call Donna McCrea, head of Archives and Special Collections at Mansfield Library, at 406-243-4403 or email


Contact: Donna McCrea, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library at UM, 406-243-4403,