Civil rights icon, congressman commemorates Voting Rights Act
August 6th, 2014
11:07 AM ET
3 months ago

Civil rights icon, congressman commemorates Voting Rights Act

Months after leading the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, civil rights leader John Lewis stood by President Lyndon B. Johnson and watched the Voting Rights Act become law.

Forty-nine years later, Lewis, now a congressman from Georgia, commemorated the landmark legislation by taking to a relatively new forum for social movements - Twitter.

In the 1960s, Lewis chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, leading the push to register African-American voters across the South.

His non-violent tactics were often met with brutal opposition.

As about 600 protesters began their march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, police officers and Alabama state troopers fell on the group with clubs, whips and tear gas.

Lewis suffered a blow to the head from a state trooper during the march, and fractured his skull.

The attack marked a turning point in the Civil Rights movement. Lewis later testified at a federal hearing about the march and, days later, thousands of marchers set out again - this time protected by National Guard troops.


Filed under: John Lewis
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "did he acknowledge and thank the republicans that voted for it and made it all happen? didn't think so."

    He didn't mention the Dems either. And BTW, the vote was as follows:

    The original House version:
    Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
    Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
    Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

    The Senate version:
    Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%) (only Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
    Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%) (John Tower of Texas)
    Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%) (only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against)
    Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%)

    August 6, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Smith.....changing voting laws right before a big election reeks of desperation. Requiring folks to get an ID to vote by itself isn't bad. Allowing gun permits and not college ID's is horrible. Not allowing time to get those folks an ID is horrible. Charging folks for it is against the law.

    The racist part comes in when it has been repeated shown that these ID laws negatively affect minorities at a much greater rate.

    August 6, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. just asking

    sonny chapman
    Just Asking-you know, or should know, that the 1965 Repubs, are not the same pedigree as the 2014 Version. All of the white Dems.who left for color reasons, went over to Your Party. As a white Southern Dem., I TY for taking them in.
    --

    absolutely not true and a vicious lie. republicans have ==> always <== been about empowering the individual and enabling them to be self sufficient and prosperous. democrats think that is done with massive government programs that foster government dependence. where has that gotten the black community as a whole over the last 5 decades? not very far for far too many. blacks that have broken out of the government dependence model of the democrats have prospered.

    August 6, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Chris..E.Al

    Some ppl think everybody is a enemy When in fact they themselves are their own enemy ? Everyone knows you are what you think you are and thats what others think you are ! Will this ever end ? What does it take ? Blame this blame that blame grandpa you couldnt run fast enough blame the north blame the south the dems and rethugs ? Blame me .

    August 6, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. salty dog

    Just, your either very naive, or very much in denial, why shift funds from urban schools to charter and private, how does that help the kids get the education needed to rise above, I don't know who you think your kidding, but im a white guy who grew up in the country, and I see through your BS, you mad they've not been dumbed down enough to believe you?

    August 6, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    sonny chapman

    Just Asking-you know, or should know, that the 1965 Repubs, are not the same pedigree as the 2014 Version. All of the white Dems.who left for color reasons, went over to Your Party. As a white Southern Dem., I TY for taking them in.
    -----------------------------
    Yes, they are. They played musical chairs the year before, in 1964, with the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The Dixiecrats became Republicans, and many Republicans were so appalled by the change in their party's makeup that they became Democrats. By the time 1965 had rolled around most everyone was already dancing with different partners.

    August 6, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Good grief. I guess having nothing to do with it explains why Johnson gave him a pen at the signing ceremony.
    ---
    He's speaking about the Issa hearings, not the signing ceremony. Stay focused.
    =============================================================
    Oops. I was more focused on roast beef and cole slaw hero on roasted garlic bread.

    August 6, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    "did he acknowledge and thank the republicans that voted for it and made it all happen? didn't think so."

    He didn't mention the Dems either. And BTW, the vote was as follows:
    ==========================================================
    Wow, so when did they start trading places? I've always believed that the CRA was the moment. I guess not.

    August 6, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. smith

    @Anonymous-What study shows that showing an ID doesn`t affect whites in a negative way but does affect non-white races in a negative way?

    August 6, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    Consider how much John Lewis and his contemporaries went through to get the right to vote.
    Now, it is too much effort to even get an ID to have the right to vote.

    Way more are self-disenfranchised by their laziness than by any right-wing suppression efforts.

    And repupbs would have much less ability to restrict ones voting rights if Dems would show up at the polls at least every 2 years.

    It's much easier to blame repubs than to actually go vote.

    August 6, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Chris..E.Al

    I mean we voted a black prez to run the nation can you get anymore freedom than that . When does this blame game end ? What will it take ? Do you ppl tell your kids they are black and not to expect much in life and ruin their self esteem ? ? I mean you blame the north the south the dems the rethugs . What does it take and how long .

    August 6, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Anonymous-What study shows that showing an ID doesn`t affect whites in a negative way but does affect non-white races in a negative way?
    -------------------------
    What study shows that showing an ID reduces voter fraud at the polls?

    August 6, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Hector

    The racist part comes in when it has been repeated shown that these ID laws negatively affect minorities at a much greater rate.
    ------------------------
    How does this negatively affect minorities? Please explain.

    August 6, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Why dose Clarence Thomas dislike the Voting Rights Act ?

    August 6, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    Just Asking- Congratulations; you've managed to string together multiple Fox News/Repub. Talking Points w/out stating ONE FACT.
    Be glad to talk Facts w/you, 'Cause I was THERE.

    August 6, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Chris..E.Al says:
    August 6, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm
    I mean we voted a black prez to run the nation can you get anymore freedom than that . When does this blame game end ? What will it take ? Do you ppl tell your kids they are black and not to expect much in life and ruin their self esteem ? ? I mean you blame the north the south the dems the rethugs . What does it take and how long .

    And look how he's treated daily! No other POTUS in the history of this country has ever been disrespected as bad as this one. Look how they treat his wife. As for how we raise our children, we tell them to reach for the stars that anything is possible, then they find out the truth. That in this day and age dogs are treated better than most of us.

    August 6, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    @Sonny Chapman

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart!😍😍😍😍

    August 6, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    Oops. I was more focused on roast beef and cole slaw hero on roasted garlic bread.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    That sounds delish!!

    August 6, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "The racist part comes in when it has been repeated shown that these ID laws negatively affect minorities at a much greater rate.
    --------
    How does this negatively affect minorities? Please explain."

    We don't have to. The numbers show that it does. In fact, the numbers also provide 90% or so of the explanation anyway. Besides, when you have an all-white GOP/Teatroll state legislature enacting legislation that says this ID is good and that ID is not and "it just so happens" that IDs like gun permits are allowed, but various IDs most frequently used by minorities in the inner city are magically not on the list FOR NO GOOD REASON, it becomes a little obvious what's going on. The GOP/Teatrolls really need, first and foremost, to just acknowledge and accept that THEY ARE FOOLING NOBODY. They're base knows exactly what they're doing and LOVES IT. They regurgitate the superficial code-speak excuses because they want those disparate impacts to take effect. The rest of the country is also not fooled, particularly those who would suffer those disparate impacts. And, it should be noted, the MSM isn't fooled either...they're just cowards and horribly afraid of the profit repercussions were they to simply call it all what it really is rather than whitewashing and manufacturing false equivalence.

    August 6, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "absolutely not true and a vicious lie. republicans have ==> always <== been about empowering the individual and enabling them to be self sufficient and prosperous."

    LOL. All you have to do to understand just how desperately wrong you are is look at the geographic breakdown of the CRA vote in 1964 and the geographic makeup of the GOP/Teatroll base NOW. Yes, it's that simple.

    #NOBODY'SFOOLED

    August 6, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. smith

    @Rudy-An ID is a proven method to prevent fraud. Try an answer my question instead of asking a question. smh

    August 6, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    sonny chapman

    Just Asking- Congratulations; you've managed to string together multiple Fox News/Repub. Talking Points w/out stating ONE FACT.
    Be glad to talk Facts w/you, 'Cause I was THERE
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Kudos to you sonny chapman, and thank you!!!!

    August 6, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. smith

    Sniffit says, "We don`t have to". Translation-We can`t answer the question.

    August 6, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Smith dear. Why are NRA ID's acceptable but not college ID's? Why are polling places in minority districts being closed and or consolidated? Why are the hours changing for voting only in minority districts? And the countless other changes due to the rampant voter fraud in 08 & 12?? In the words of Sniffitt. Derp.

    August 6, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Anonymous-What study shows that showing an ID doesn`t affect whites in a negative way but does affect non-white races in a negative way?
    ---------
    What study shows that showing an ID reduces voter fraud at the polls?
    ---------
    Rudy tactic 61-317462 – when confronted with a question you don't want to answer, answer it with another question.

    August 6, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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