Voting Rights Bill Passed

Signing of the Voting Rights Bill

On August 6th, the President Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act. The act prohibited states from using poll taxes or literacy tests to limit voter registration for minorities..


The events in Selma focussed the nation's attention on the need to pass a voting rights bill. In his speech deploring the violence in Selma, President Johnson promised that he would submit a voting rights bill to Congress without delay.

On March 15, 1965, Johnson spoke before a joint session of Congress. Many have called the speech, called “American Promise,” his finest. He began his speech with these words: "At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomatox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama." On March 17th, Johnson sent up the voting rights bill to the Congress. It forbade the denial of the right to vote on account of race or color, invalidating any test or device employed to deny the right to vote in any federal state or local election.

On August 6th, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Bill into law