By Michelle Koepp
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama honored the legislation that helped pave his path to the White House. Fifty years ago, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law. It made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or national origin. The act outlawed for the first time the segregation of whites and minorities at lunch counters, on buses, and in other public places. It also notably gave women legal recourse for workplace gender discrimination, giving American women a metaphorical “hammer” which they could wield to shatter the glass ceiling.