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US Civil Rights: The Voting Rights Act of 1965

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20 Questions

What was a major hurdle for black voters in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi?

Literacy tests

What was the outcome of the 1964 presidential election for President Johnson?

Landslide victory

Why did many southern white Democrats leave the Democratic Party in 1964?

Due to Johnson's stance on civil rights

What was the significance of the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965?

It led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act

What event prompted President Johnson to call an extraordinary session of Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act?

Bloody Sunday

What percentage of black voters were registered in Selma, Alabama in 1965?

2.1%

What was the purpose of the Freedom Summer project?

To register black voters in Mississippi

Who led the non-violent march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965?

Civil rights leaders

What was Martin Luther King Jr.'s goal in meeting with President Johnson?

To urge Johnson to support voting rights

What was the consequence of President Johnson's support of civil rights in the 1964 election?

He lost support from southern white Democrats

What was a significant factor in President Johnson's initial hesitation to support a voting rights bill?

Worry about jeopardizing his chances in the 1964 election

What was the primary goal of the volunteers who participated in Freedom Summer?

To help register black voters in Mississippi

What was the outcome of the non-violent march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965?

The marchers were met with violent resistance from state troopers

What was the consequence of the violence on Bloody Sunday for President Johnson?

He was prompted to call an extraordinary session of Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act

What was the political impact of President Johnson's strong support for civil rights in the 1964 election?

Many southern white Democrats left the party

What was the significance of the 1964 presidential election result for President Johnson in the South?

He won the election by a landslide, but lost voters in the South

What was the primary obstacle faced by black voters in places like Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi?

Voting restrictions, such as literacy tests

What was the reason for Martin Luther King Jr.'s meeting with President Johnson?

To urge Johnson to support voting rights

What was the context of the non-violent march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965?

To draw attention to the low voter registration rates in Selma, Alabama

What was the outcome of the 1964 presidential election for Senator Barry Goldwater?

He lost the election, but gained popularity in the South

Study Notes

• 1964 presidential election: President Johnson faces pressure from civil rights leaders to support a voting rights bill, but he's concerned about jeopardizing his chances in the election.

• Freedom Summer: Hundreds of volunteers, both white and black, travel to Mississippi to help register black voters.

• Voting restrictions: Despite being legally able to vote, many blacks face obstacles, such as literacy tests, to prevent them from voting in places like Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.

• Johnson's dilemma: Johnson's strong support of civil rights leads to many southern white Democrats leaving the party, and his opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater, gains popularity in the South.

• 1964 election results: Johnson wins the election by a landslide, but loses voters in the South.

• Martin Luther King Jr. meets with Johnson, urging him to support voting rights, but Johnson is hesitant.

• Selma, Alabama, 1965: Only 2.1% of blacks of voting age are registered to vote, prompting a non-violent march from Selma to Montgomery, led by civil rights leaders.

• Bloody Sunday: On March 7, 1965, Alabama state troopers violently disperse the marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, injuring many and sparking national outrage.

• Johnson's turning point: The event prompts Johnson to call an extraordinary nighttime session of Congress, demanding passage of the Voting Rights Act.

• Johnson's speech: In a historic address to a joint session of Congress, Johnson speaks out for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy, echoing the civil rights movement's creed, "We shall overcome."

• Passage of the Voting Rights Act: The bill is passed and signed into law, marking a major victory for the civil rights movement.

• Johnson's legacy: The Voting Rights Act and Medicare are seen as significant achievements, solidifying Johnson's reputation as a champion of civil rights.

Learn about the events leading up to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, including the 1964 presidential election, Freedom Summer, and the march from Selma to Montgomery. Discover how President Johnson's support for civil rights led to a major victory for the movement.

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