Voting Rights Highlights: 1965 and Beyond

Timeline created by gucomm
  • United States ratifies 15th Amendment

    United States ratifies 15th Amendment
    The 15th Amendment to the Constitution grants African American men the right to vote by declaring that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
  • Louisiana becomes the first of many Southern states to pass "Grandfather Clause."

    Louisana becomes one of the first Southern states to adopt a grandfather clause, which exempts men whose ancestors or grandfathers had the right to vote before the Civil War, or as of a particular date, from literacy tests, poll taxes, residency or property restrictions required for voter registration. This enfranchises the white population of the states while disenfranchising their black populations.
  • United States ratifies 19th Amendment

    United States ratifies 19th Amendment
    The 19th Amendment prohibits any citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex.
  • 24th Amendment signed into law

    24th Amendment signed into law
    The 24th Amendment prohibits requiring a poll tax for voters in federal elections.
  • Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday
    More than 500 nonviolent civil rights marchers are attacked as they cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge by law enforcement officers while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand the right for African American voting rights.
  • President Johnson urges passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    President Johnson urges passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
    President Johnson calls on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • March From Selma to Montgomery

    March From Selma to Montgomery
    The official Selma to Montgomery March begins March 21 after civil rights protestors receive an injunction from U.S. federal Judge Frank Johnson for a third march. The final number of supporters after the 54-mile stretch from Selma to Montgomery reaches near 25,000.
  • President Johnson signs Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law

    President Johnson signs Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law
    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law, permanently barring barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote on account of race, and requiring jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval for changes in their election laws before they can take effect.
  • Increase in African American voter registration

    By the end of 1965, 250,000 new black voters are registered, one third of them by federal examiners.
  • President Richard Nixon signs an extension of the Voting Rights Act.

  • President Ford signs an extension of the Voting Rights Act.

  • President Reagan signs a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act.

  • President Clinton signs National Voter Registration Act of 1993 into law

    The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 expands voting rights by requiring state governments to offer voter registration opportunities to any eligible person who applies for or renews a driver's license or public assistance, requiring states to register applicants that use a federal voter registration form to apply, and prohibiting states from removing registered voters from the voter rolls unless certain criteria are met.
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    15th Amendment to 24th Amendment Passage

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    1965 Events