Voting Rights Act of 1965

Lyndon Johnson

Definition and Summary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Summary and Definition: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965 to safeguard the right to vote of Black Americans and ban the use of literacy tests. The 1965  Act  addressed the voting issues that had not been covered in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights movement had launched voting registration campaign in Selma, Alabama and five months after the Selma Freedom Marches, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent a voting rights bill to Congress. The law had an immediate impact.

By the end of 1965 250,000 new black voters had been registered. The original Voting Rights law was scheduled to expire five years after it was enacted, but it has since become a permanent federal law and has been extended and amended five times, the most recent amendment being the Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.

   
  

Voting Rights Act of 1965
Lyndon B Johnson was the 36th American President who served in office from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969. One of the important events during his presidency was the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Voting Rights Act of 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts for kids

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 1: History: The 15th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1870 stating that a citizen's right to vote cannot be taken away because of race, the color of their skin. It initially achieved its purpose and black voting participation and representation in the Southern states increased rapidly.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 2: History: The Compromise of 1877 ended the Reconstruction era, the infamous Jim Crow Laws were introduced and the political gains achieved by African Americans were rolled back as blacks were prevented from voting by intimidation and violence from white supremacists and political tactics such as poll taxes, literacy tests and the grandfather clause.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 3: History: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law on July 2, 1964. The law focused on segregation and employment discrimination but failed to fully address voting issues.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 4: History: The 24th Amendment was ratified January 23, 1964 addressing the issue of fair voting and barred Poll taxes, making it illegal to make anyone pay a tax to have the right to vote.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 5: But there were still many problems in relation to voting, African Americans made up almost half the population, but only 2% were registered voters.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 6: Members of organizations,  such as the SCLC and the SNCC, were subjected to extreme acts of violence and intimidation as they intensified their voter registration efforts in the south.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 7: Selma, the seat of Dallas County, Alabama, had a record of violent resistance to black voting. The Selma marches were demonstrations surrounding voting issues and organized by Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and John Lewis. 

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 8: Five months after the last Selma March ended on 25 March 1965 , President Lyndon B. Johnson sent a voting rights bill to Congress to remove race-based restrictions on voting.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 9: Congress based its authority to regulate voting practices on the 15th Amendment, which gave all citizens the right to vote.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 10: The Voting Rights Act of 1965, also known as the VRA, contained 17 sections and was was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965 in order to ban all kinds of racial discrimination in voting.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 11: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made discriminatory practices illegal, and gave private citizens the right to sue in federal court to stop them.

Continued...

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts for kids

Facts about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts about the struggle to obtain equal Voting Rights.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts for kids

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 12: The Act of 1965 contained two types of provisions: "general provisions", which applied nationwide, and "special provisions", which applied to only certain states and local governments.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 13: The provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were initially aimed at the seven states in the South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia) that had used literacy tests to obstruct registration by African Americans. The law called for these states to demonstrate progress, whilst submitting to federal oversight of voting changes.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 14: The passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a watershed event in the history of the United States because, for the first time, the federal government undertook voting reforms that had traditionally been left to the states.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 15: The act prohibited states from imposing or applying qualifications, standards or procedures to deny the right to vote on account of race or color.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 16: The act established a coverage formula under which federal intervention in the electoral process was permitted in states in which any test or device was used as a condition of voter registration. It also authorized the appointment of federal voting examiners.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 17: The act suspended the use of literacy tests in covered jurisdictions.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 18: It required that new voting laws in covered states and local jurisdictions were approved, before taking effect.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 19: Section 4 included the provision that a jurisdiction may terminate or "bailout" from coverage under the Act's special provisions providing the "bailout" applicant had demonstrated that there had been no violations of the voting discrimination during the past ten years.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 20: Congress also made it clear that the poll tax had precluded persons of limited means from voting and had denied the constitutional right to vote.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 21: The law prohibited any person from intimidating, threatening, or coercing any person for attempting to vote or voting.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 22: Each state has different rules regarding the effect of a criminal conviction on the right to vote and on regaining the right to vote if it has been lost.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 23: Amendments were made to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 1970, 1975, 1982, 1992, and 2006.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 24: The Justice Department enforces other voting rights laws: the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts - 25: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 enforced the voting rights guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and resulted in the mass enfranchisement (endowing the rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote) of racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the southern states..

Voting Rights Act of 1965 Facts for kids

Voting Rights Act of 1965 - President Lyndon Johnson Video
The article on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Lyndon Johnson video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 36th American President whose presidency spanned from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

● Interesting Facts about 1965 Voting Rights Act for kids and schools
● Summary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in US history
● The 1965 Vote Rights Act, a major event in US history
● Lyndon Johnson from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969
● Fast, fun facts about Voting Rights and the Constitution
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Lyndon Johnson
● Lyndon Johnson Presidency and 1965 Voting Rights Act for schools, homework, kids and children

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