National March Into Literacy Month on March, 2024: Summarize the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

March, 2024 is National March Into Literacy Month 2024.

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Summarize the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Voting Rights Act (1965)

On 6 August 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, calling the day ‘‘a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield’’ (Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda’’). The law came seven months after Martin Luther King launched a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) campaign based in Selma, Alabama, with the aim of pressuring Congress to pass such legislation.

‘‘In Selma,’’ King wrote, ‘‘we see a classic pattern of disenfranchisement typical of the Southern Black Belt areas where Negroes are in the majority’’ (King, ‘‘Selma— The Shame and the Promise’’). In addition to facing arbitrary literacy tests and poll taxes, African Americans in Selma and other southern towns were intimidated, harassed, and assaulted when they sought to register to vote. Civil rights activists met with fierce resistance to their campaign, which attracted national attention on 7 March 1965, when civil rights workers were brutally attacked by white law enforcement officers on a march from Selma to Montgomery.

Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act that same month, ‘‘with the outrage of Selma still fresh’’ (Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda’’). In just over four months, Congress passed the bill. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 abolished literacy tests and poll taxes designed to disenfranchise African American voters, and gave the federal government the authority to take over voter registration in counties with a pattern of persistent discrimination. ‘‘This law covers many pages,’’ Johnson said before signing the bill, ‘‘but the heart of the act is plain. Wherever, by clear and objective standards, States and counties are using regulations, or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down’’ (Johnson, ‘‘Remarks in the Capitol Rotunda’’).

On the same day Johnson signed the bill, he announced that his attorney general, Nicholas Katzenbach, would initiate lawsuits against four states that still required a poll tax to register. Although King called the law ‘‘a great step forward in removing all of the remaining obstacles to the right to vote,’’ he knew that the ballot would only be an effective tool for social change if potential voters rid themselves of the fear associated with voting (King, 5 August 1965.) To meet this goal and ‘‘rid the American body politic of racism,’’ SCLC developed its Political Education and Voter Registration Department (King, ‘‘Annual Report’’).

are there any court cases involveing the 26th amendment?

are there any court cases involveing the 26th amendment?

26th Amendment

The United States was in the throes of the Vietnam War and protests were underway throughout the nation. Draftees into the armed services were any male over the age of 18. There was a seeming dichotomy, however: these young men were allowed, even forced, to fight and die for their country, but they were unable to vote. The 14th Amendment only guaranteed the vote, in a roundabout way, to those over twenty-one.

The Congress attempted to right this wrong in 1970 by passing an extension to the 1965 Voting Rights Act (which itself is enforcement legislation based on prior suffrage amendments) that gave the vote to all persons 18 or older, in all elections, on all levels. Oregon objected to the 18-year-old limit, as well as other provisions of the 1970 Act (it also objected to a prohibition on literacy tests for the franchise). In Oregon v Mitchell (400 U.S. 112), a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that the Congress had the power to lower the voting age to 18 for national elections, but not for state and local elections. The case was decided on December 1, 1970. Within months, on March 23, 1971, the Congress passed the text of the 26th Amendment, specifically setting a national voting age, in both state and national elections, to 18. In just 100 days, on July 1, 1971, the amendment was ratified.

Close Up, an organization dedicated to involving youth in government, has produced a PDF pamphlet on the 26th Amendment and history. You can find the pamphlet on their web site.



That's a lot of work!

1. False (Federalists)

2. True

3. True

4. False (Against England)

5. False (Benjamin Russell)

6. True

7. False (Free state)

8. False (?)

9. True

10. Atlantic Triangle

11. Underground Railroad

12. Slave Codes

13. Manifest Destiny

14. South Carolina

15. I don't know, but the first Battle of Bull Run is NOT the answer

16. Freedman's Bureau

17. Skilled Workers

18. Abolished Slavery

19. Divided the Confederate States

20. KKK (could be all of the above)

21. Poll taxes and Literacy Tests

22. Impressment of sailors, British interference, Indian warfare

23. People should share in government

24. Sinking of the Battleship Maine (I don't know the second one)

25. 1, Alexander Hamilton (?); 2, Aaron Burr; 3, John Marshall; 4, Roger Williams; 5, Sojourner Truth; 6, Abraham Lincoln; 7, John Breckenridge; 8, Robert Lee (not listed); 9, Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson; 10, Theodore Roosevelt; 11. Ulysses Grant (not listed); 12, William Sherman; 13, Andrew Johnson; 14, Rutherford Hayes; 15, William McKinley

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