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Oral History Tells Story Of Voting Rights Act

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson hands a pen to civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the the signing of the voting rights act as officials look on behind them, Washington, D.C., August 6, 1965. (Washington Bureau/Getty Images)
U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson hands a pen to civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the the signing of the voting rights act as officials look on behind them, Washington, D.C., August 6, 1965. (Washington Bureau/Getty Images)

Here & Now is marking the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by listening to some of the voices of the time, especially President Lyndon Johnson, who made civil rights a priority of his administration, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

President Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act through Congress in 1964 and a year later signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965. The act made restrictions on access to the poll illegal. Those restriction had kept many African Americans from voting in the South.

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