Click on the link here for Audio Player: LBJ -1965 Voting Right Bill – March 15, 1965
In the midst of heightened protests throughout the South, and in particular the situation in Selma Alabama, the introduction of this bill was one more element in what would be a tumultuous period of time for Civil Rights in this country.
LBJ: “In our time we have come to live with the moments of great crisis. Our lives have been marked with debate about great issues; issues of war and peace, issues of prosperity and depression. But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself. Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, or our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved nation.”
The wheels of progress were moving slowly, but moving. The wheels of resistance however, were moving quickly. And the violence would continue long after the bills were passed. 1965 was another pivotal year in a whirlwind decade only half over.
. . . Or half begun, depending on how you looked at it.
Here is LBJ’s complete Address to Congress for March 15, 1965.
- 2013 Selma March Re-enactment: Bloody Sunday Edmund Pettus Bridge Showdown For the 1965 Voting Rights Act (3chicspolitico.com)
- Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965: The peak of the American civil rights movement. (photos.mercurynews.com)
- Biden marches with civil rights leaders in Alabama to commemorate ‘Bloody Sunday’ (rawstory.com)