Black History: Voting Rights Act Of 1965
Written by wdkxwp on February 12, 2016
Voting Rights Act Of 1965, August 1965
In August 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law with the goal of overcoming the legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevents African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment in the Constitution of the U.S. The Voting Rights Act was spurred by the events that took place during the Selma to Montgomery march where marchers were beaten and tear gassed by Alabama state troopers in March of 1965. Less than a week later President Johnson addressed a joint session of Congress, calling for federal legislation to ensure protection of the voting rights of African Americans. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law on August 6, 1965. The Voting Rights Act vastly improved voter turnout. In Mississippi alone, voter turnout among African Americans increased from six percent in 1964 to 59 percent in 1969.