50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act


WHEREAS, the Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965, aimed to overcome legal barriers that prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote; and

WHEREAS, the Voting Rights Act was a landmark piece of federal legislation that ended racial discrimination in voting, enforcing that voting rights for all are guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments; and

WHEREAS, in 1965, at the time of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, there were six African-American members of the U.S. House of Representatives and no African-Americans in the U.S. Senate. By 1971, there were 13 members of the House and one African-American member of the Senate; and

WHEREAS, the hard work, determination, and perseverance of civil rights activists across the country helped to make this day possible; and

WHEREAS, the victory of the Voting Rights Act helped diversifying the electorate and legislative bodies in government, making a more representative body; and

WHEREAS, on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act it is important to recognize the historical importance of this day and to recognize the immeasurable value one vote can have;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize August 6, 2015, as the 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.