Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 15 anniversary of President Johnson's call for Voting Rights Act

Yesterday, March 15, was the 46th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's call for a National Voting Rights Act in the wake of Bloody Sunday in Selma:

“I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy,” Johnson began. “I urge every member of both parties, Americans of all religions and of all colors, from every section of this country, to join me in that cause.”

“Their cause must be our cause, too,” Johnson said. All Americans “must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.”

The White House drafted legislation, which arrived on Capitol Hill on March 17, that banned literacy tests, named federal vote registrars and imposed federal penalties on anyone who interfered with voting in local, state or federal elections.

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