Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Featured Content August 6, 2016 - Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, enforcing the 15th amendment to the Constitution of the United States


August 6,1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting.

79 Stat. 437 – Voting Rights Act of 1965

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The Voting Right Act Entails:
  • Nationwide prohibition of voting discrimination
  • Enforced the voting rights in the 14th and 15th amendments
  • Gave racial minorities the right to vote across the country
  • Outlaws literacy tests
  • No state or local government can impose any voting qualifications

52 U.S.C. Chapter 103 – Enforcement of Voting Rights

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Major Amendments

84 Stat. 314 – Voting Rights Amendments of 1970, June 22,1970

To extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with respect to the discriminatory use of tests, and devices

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89 Stat. 400 – Voting Rights Act of 1965, Amendments of 1975, August 6,1975

To amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to extend certain provisions for an additional seven years, to made permanent the ban against certain prerequisites to voting, and for other purposes

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96 Stat. 131 – Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1982, June 29,1982

To amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to extend the effect of certain provisions, and for other purposes

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106 Stat. 921 – Voting Rights Language Assistance Act of 1992, August 26,1992

To amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with respect to bilingual election requirements

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120 Stat. 577 – Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, July 27, 2006

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March 15,1965, President Johnson delivered the “Special Message to Congress: The American Promise,” urging the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. View a transcript of the speech and listen to the audio on the LBJ Presidential Library’s website.

August 6,1965 President Johnson gave “Remarks on the Signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” View a transcript of the speech and listen to audio on the University of Virginia, Miller Center’s website.