Lyndon B. Johnston signed into law the Civil Rights Act in 1964, while the country was at war with Vietnam. Some historians contend that this two-pronged effort—becoming involved in a costly war without an increase in taxation—pushed the US into debt that eroded and impacted the average American lifestyle well into the '90s.
The immediate effects of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the '60s were to outlaw Jim Crow laws in the South and workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability throughout the country. In Mississippi alone, black voter registration increased tenfold during this period.
Meanwhile, a draft was in effect in which low-income whites, African Americans, and Latinos were enlisted to fight in the ongoing Vietnam War. During this time, a counterculture sprang up to protest the war and stand up for civil rights. This shifted the predominant cultural landscape away from the traditional, white, Protestant America, which had been pro-war. Given the racism and inequality back home, activists found the combat to fight communism in Vietnam hypocritical and were discouraged by the monies funneled out of black communities to fund the war efforts.
The Vietnam War was a long, unpopular, and expensive war that America eventually lost. This loss, along with the emergence of a counterculture formed of hippies and activists, produced a public that viewed the government and its institutions with more distrust and suspicion. While the war quashed some inequality in allowing black soldiers to fight with whites in the trenches, neither were welcomed by the majority of the public when they returned home.