The Road to the Voting Rights Act

The events that led up to the passage of the historic law.

The March for Voting Rights Continues - Aug. 6, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Here is a look at the events that led up to the passage of the historic law and the fight to restore it to its original strength. ? Joyce Jones (Photo: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)

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The March for Voting Rights Continues - Aug. 6, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Here is a look at the events that led up to the passage of the historic law and the fight to restore it to its original strength. — Joyce Jones (Photo: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)

In the Beginning - Although the 15th Amendment prohibited preventing people to vote based on race or color, several mostly Southern states continued to deny Blacks the right to vote. They applied a variety of methods, including literacy tests and poll taxes. (Photo: Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)

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In the Beginning - Although the 15th Amendment prohibited preventing people to vote based on race or color, several mostly Southern states continued to deny Blacks the right to vote. They applied a variety of methods, including literacy tests and poll taxes. (Photo: Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)

In Name Only - Enacted on May 6, 1960, the Civil Rights Act enabled the Justice Department to inspect all records related to voter registration and introduced penalties for obstructing anyone's ability to register to vote and cast a ballot. The bill was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and proved to be ineffectual. (Photo: Abbie Rowe/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

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In Name Only - Enacted on May 6, 1960, the Civil Rights Act enabled the Justice Department to inspect all records related to voter registration and introduced penalties for obstructing anyone's ability to register to vote and cast a ballot. The bill was signed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and proved to be ineffectual. (Photo: Abbie Rowe/PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

The Freedom Summer - Organized by a coalition of civil rights organizations, thousands of activists and volunteers, including many white college students from the North, "invaded" Mississippi from June to August in 1964 to register as many Black voters as possible. They also registered voters in other Southern states.  (Photo: John Duprey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

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The Freedom Summer - Organized by a coalition of civil rights organizations, thousands of activists and volunteers, including many white college students from the North, "invaded" Mississippi from June to August in 1964 to register as many Black voters as possible. They also registered voters in other Southern states.  (Photo: John Duprey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Bloody Sunday - On March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights demonstrators set out to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest efforts to deny Blacks their right to vote. The march was aborted when participants were brutally attacked by state and local policemen, forcing them to retreat. On March 21, however, thousands of marchers successfully crossed the bridge. (Photo: AL.COM/Landov)

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Bloody Sunday - On March 7, 1965, 600 civil rights demonstrators set out to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest efforts to deny Blacks their right to vote. The march was aborted when participants were brutally attacked by state and local policemen, forcing them to retreat. On March 21, however, thousands of marchers successfully crossed the bridge. (Photo: AL.COM/Landov)

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Turning Point - After viewing the violence of Bloody Sunday on television, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced a bill to Congress that would eventually become the Voting Rights Act of 1965. "At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom," Johnson said of Bloody Sunday.  (Photo: Washington Bureau/Getty Images)

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Turning Point - After viewing the violence of Bloody Sunday on television, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced a bill to Congress that would eventually become the Voting Rights Act of 1965. "At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom," Johnson said of Bloody Sunday.  (Photo: Washington Bureau/Getty Images)

Check and Balance - On Aug. 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law, prohibiting anyone from being denied the right to vote based on race. In addition to Section 5, which required certain states to pre-clear any changes to its voting laws and maps, it also outlawed literacy tests. (Photo: Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

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Check and Balance - On Aug. 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law, prohibiting anyone from being denied the right to vote based on race. In addition to Section 5, which required certain states to pre-clear any changes to its voting laws and maps, it also outlawed literacy tests. (Photo: Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

A Temporary Fix - In 1970, Congress extended Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for five years and again in 1975 for seven more years. In 1982, lawmakers extended Section 5 for 25 years. (Photo: Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

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A Temporary Fix - In 1970, Congress extended Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for five years and again in 1975 for seven more years. In 1982, lawmakers extended Section 5 for 25 years. (Photo: Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

The More Things Change - During the recent presidential election cycle, several states attempted to change voting laws in ways opponents said would make it more difficult for minorities, low-income people, seniors and students to vote. (Photo: Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)

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The More Things Change - During the recent presidential election cycle, several states attempted to change voting laws in ways opponents said would make it more difficult for minorities, low-income people, seniors and students to vote. (Photo: Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)

Shelby County v. Holder - In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, dismantling the formula the Justice Department used to decide which states or parts of states had to seek pre-clearance before making changes to their voting laws and policies. Several states have taken advantage of the ruling to implement strict voter ID and other laws. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Shelby County v. Holder - In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, dismantling the formula the Justice Department used to decide which states or parts of states had to seek pre-clearance before making changes to their voting laws and policies. Several states have taken advantage of the ruling to implement strict voter ID and other laws. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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The Aftermath - "We see these legislatures all over the country putting in place new impediments to voting," Rep. James Clyburn said during a March 6 appearance on Morning Joe. "Back in 1965, we were trying to get rid of the poll tax, get rid of full-slate voting and these things that were delusions and denials of the vote. Today, they've gotten some new impediments under the auspices of voter ID." (Photo: Kim Kim Foster-Tobin/The State/MCT)

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The Aftermath - "We see these legislatures all over the country putting in place new impediments to voting," Rep. James Clyburn said during a March 6 appearance on Morning Joe. "Back in 1965, we were trying to get rid of the poll tax, get rid of full-slate voting and these things that were delusions and denials of the vote. Today, they've gotten some new impediments under the auspices of voter ID." (Photo: Kim Kim Foster-Tobin/The State/MCT)

Voting Rights Act Amendment - In 2014, Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) and John Conyers (D-Michigan) have introduced a Voting Rights Act amendment bill in response to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act. It "is not a perfect bill," Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) told National Public Radio. "But it is a necessary and good beginning." But with Republicans now in charge of the House and Senate, passage is unlikely. Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has indicated that he doesn't believe it's "necessary" to move on the bill and he believes the Voting Rights act is strong enough as is. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Voting Rights Act Amendment - In 2014, Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) and John Conyers (D-Michigan) have introduced a Voting Rights Act amendment bill in response to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act. It "is not a perfect bill," Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) told National Public Radio. "But it is a necessary and good beginning." But with Republicans now in charge of the House and Senate, passage is unlikely. Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has indicated that he doesn't believe it's "necessary" to move on the bill and he believes the Voting Rights act is strong enough as is. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)