South Carolina's Flagship University

Information on the Voting Rights Act of 1965

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The 15th Amendment:
The Library of Congress Primary Documents in American History Collection includes a webpage on the 15th Amendment, which provides a link to the resolution proposing the amendment as well as a selected bibliography and other links of interest.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Its Amendments
The Southern Regional Council's Voting Rights HelpNet website provides this link to the downloadable pdf version of the text of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Public Law 89-110; the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970, Public Law 91-285; the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1975, Public Law 94-73; and the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1982, 97-205.

Historic Marches

Bloody Sunday: The Library of Congress American Memory: Today in History: March 7
American Memory is a gateway to the Library of Congress's digitized American historical documents. As part of its Today in History project, this webpage describes the voting rights march on March 7, 1965, which, because of the violence perpetrated by Alabama state troopers upon the marchers as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, became known as "Bloody Sunday."
We Shall Overcome: The March from Selma to Montgomery
Included on the National Park Service's website as one of the historic places of the Civil Rights Movement, the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail was created by Congress in 1996 to commemorate the courageous efforts of those who marched in support of the right to vote. Two weeks after "Bloody Sunday," approximately 3000 Marchers, with the permission of Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, left Selma for Alabama's capitol city. On March 25, 1965, after walking for four days, picking up supporters along the way, 25,000 demonstrators arrived in Montgomery.

Presidential Addresses

The American Promise: President Lyndon B. Johnson's Special Message to Congress March 15, 1965
The text of Lyndon B. Johnson's speech to a joint session of Congress after the events of Bloody Sunday in which he announces his plans to send a bill to Congress to eliminate illegal barriers to the right to vote and implores members not to delay in its passage is available on the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum's website
American Experience: The Presidents
The audio version of Lyndon B. Johnson's Address to Congress on March 15, 1965 is included in PBS's History series, American Experience, The Presidents.


Voting Rights Act Timeline: American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union's Voting Rights website includes a Voting Rights Act Timeline depicting events affecting voting rights from 1776 to the expiration of Section 5 and other temporary provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 if not reauthorized by Congress and signed into law by August 6, 2007.

South Carolina Challenges the Act

South Carolina v. Katzenbach
Soon after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, South Carolina invoked the original jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court to challenge its constitutionality. The Court invited all states to submit briefs as friends of the Court and seven other states were allowed to present oral arguments. The Court addresses the purpose of the Act by reviewing the history of voting rights in the U.S. and summarizing the results of many days of Congressional hearings held prior to its enactment.

Other Internet Sources

Department of Justice: Introduction to Federal Voting Rights Laws
The United States Department of Justice's website explains the Voting Rights Act. In its discussion, it includes the path that led to the Voting Rights Act, the text of the Voting Rights Act, as well as the effect of the Voting Rights Act.
Voting Rights Glossary: Southern Regional Council
The Southern Regional Council lists and defines relevant terms to voting rights. The Council also provides other useful links to articles and to other places on the Southern Regional Council's website.
FIRSTGOV.gov: Voting and Elections
FirstGov gives links to information concerning elections and voting, as well as children's resources to explain the process and lesson plans for teachers to aid in explaining this. It also provides a way to contact elected officials, learn about the candidates, and register to vote.
U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau provides relevant data concerning the distribution of the population of the United States, including the percentage of minority representation in various regions, states, and cities.
Renew the Voting Rights Act
The Renew the Voting Rights Act Campaign website, supported by several different foundation, gives links to other informational sites concerning the history of the Voting Rights Act, why it should be renewed, and testimonials concerning the impact of the Act.

For Kids

America's Story
America's Story describes the march from Selma to Montgomery in terms for children to understand the events that took place that day.


Election Law Blog
Richard Hasen's web log contains entries relating to "election law, campaign finance, legislation, voting rights, initiatives, redistricting, and the Supreme Court nomination process."
Election Law at Moritz: Equal Vote Blog
Mortiz College of Law: The Ohio State University
Daniel Tokaji's web log has posts on these various issues: "Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities."