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Omnigraphics, Incorporated
Voting Rights Act of 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

by Laurie Collier Hillstrom


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Throughout the course of America's existence, its people, culture, and institutions have been periodically challenged-and in many cases transformed-by profound historical events. Some of these momentous events invigorated the nation and strengthened American confidence and capabilities. Others have prompted troubled assessments and heated debates about the country's core beliefs and character. But all share the same basic attribute: they transformed the United States' political, cultural, and social landscape for future generations of Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780780810488
Publisher: Omnigraphics, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/31/2008
Series: Defining Moments Series
Pages: 260
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

Preface vii

How to Use This Book xi

Narrative Overview

Prologue 3

Chapter 1 The Jim Crow South 7

Chapter 2 Boycotts, Sit-ins, and Freedom Rides 21

Chapter 3 The March on Washington 43

Chapter 4 Freedom Summer 57

Chapter 5 Showdown in Selma 75

Chapter 6 The Voting Rights Act Becomes Law 93

Chapter 7 Legacy of the Voting Rights Act 107


Civil Rights Activist and Co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Ella Baker (1903-1986) 127

Director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) during the Civil Rights Movement James Farmer (1920-1999) 132

Civil Rights Activist and Leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) 137

President of the United States Who Signed the Voting Rights Act into Law Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) 141

Civil Rights Leader and President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Martin Luther King (1929-1968) 146

Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and U.S. Congressman John Lewis (1940-) 151

Governor of Alabama and Segregationist Leader George Wallace (1919-1998) 156

Primary Sources

Alabama Literacy Test Samples 163

Learning the Bitter Truth about Jim Crow 167

White Support for the Montgomery Bus Boycott 172

Ella Baker Describes the Founding of SNCC 174

James Farmer Remembers the Freedom Rides 176

Registering Voters during Freedom Summer 179

Powerful Testimony from Fannie Lou Hamer 181

Martin Luther King's Letter from a Selma, Alabama, Jail 184

John Lewis Remembers "Bloody Sunday" 186

Terror on the Edmund Pettus Bridge 194

President Lyndon Johnson Delivers "The American Promise" 197

Johnson Signsthe Voting Rights Act of 1965 207

Senator Barack Obama Supports Renewal of the VRA 212

Important People, Places, and Terms 217

Chronology 223

Sources for Further Study 229

Bibliography 231

Photo and Illustration Credits 235

Index 237

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