Legacy of the Voting Rights Act – Bridging the Old and New Millennium

President George W. Bush signing the reauthorization and extension of the Voting Rights Act, 2006 (National Archives) Nationwide debates regarding the Voting Rights Act returned in 1992, as the linguistic requirements drew closer to expiration. The first piece of legislation introduced to address the expiration was the Voting Rights Language Assistance Act of 1992. Developed … Continue reading Legacy of the Voting Rights Act – Bridging the Old and New Millennium

Legacy of the Voting Rights Act – Crossroads of 1982

President Ronald Reagan signing the extensions of the Voting Rights Act into law, 1982 (National Archives) The new Congress of 1982 found itself considering the provisions of the Voting Rights Act as they neared expiration. A series of hearings were held featuring more witness testimonies; the majority of the 100+ witnesses supported extending the provisions … Continue reading Legacy of the Voting Rights Act – Crossroads of 1982

Legacy of the Voting Rights Act – Expansions of the 1970s

President Gerald Ford signing the extensions to the Voting Rights Act into law, 1975 (National Archives) The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made discrimination at the ballot box unconstitutional, but it was its special provisions that helped maintain its power. From the original VRA’s passage, the special provisions were set to expire in 1970, which … Continue reading Legacy of the Voting Rights Act – Expansions of the 1970s

Dawn of the Voting Rights Act – Voting Rights Act of 1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson greeting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and other civil rights leaders after signing the Voting Rights Act into law, 1965 (Public Domain) Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eliminated all forms of discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, sex, or national origin, it did not fully … Continue reading Dawn of the Voting Rights Act – Voting Rights Act of 1965

Road to the Voting Rights Act – A Century of Civil Rights

Group of “Silent Sentinels” calling for women’s suffrage in front of the White House, 1917 (Public Domain) The passage of the Fifteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to all American men. As the former Confederate states returned to the Union, they rewrote their laws with the intention of disenfranchising the millions of newly-freed African-Americans … Continue reading Road to the Voting Rights Act – A Century of Civil Rights

Road to the Voting Rights Act – Voting Rights from 1789 to 1869

Thomas Kelly print celebrating the Fifteenth Amendment's passage, 1870 (Library of Congress) On August 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act reinforced the Fifteenth Amendment by declaring that the right to vote was not to be abridged on account of racial identity. While the significance of this landmark piece of legislation is noteworthy, the pursuit for … Continue reading Road to the Voting Rights Act – Voting Rights from 1789 to 1869

New Blog Series: History of the Voting Rights Act

Transcribed first page of Voting Rights Act of 1965 (National Archives) The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum is pleased to announce a new series of educational blogs! Over the next seven weeks, a collection of research writings covering the history of the Voting Rights Act will be published on our own Reagan Library Education … Continue reading New Blog Series: History of the Voting Rights Act