Naperville resident Thomas Armstrong was in Chicago for the recent unveiling of the freedom riders national traveling exhibit.
A freedom rider himself, Armstrong risked his life during the 19650s and 60s to help other African Americans register to vote and he was once thrown in jail for riding a bus to New Orleans.
Then on July 2nd, 1964, Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, making discrimination based on race, religion or gender no longer legal.
Now – half a century later, Armstrong recalls the feeling of that day.
“Once that act was signed, it was like a burden, like a release,” he said. “It was almost like being free.”
Armstrong adds that seeing the exhibit in Chicago shows how far the country’s come in terms of racial equality but says there’s still a long way to go.
WANT MORE LOCAL NEWS?
Get daily news headlines delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!