Case #114.0

Voting Rights Act of 1965: Part B: LBJ and the Department of Justice

Publication Date: January 01, 1975
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This case series examines the events that culminated in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Part A traces the development of voting registration drives in Selma, Alabama, and examines their role in furthering voting rights legislation. It describes local involvement in the campaign, the contributions made by Martin Luther King and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and growing media coverage of the movement. A supplement to this case includes King's effort to organize slum dwellers in Chicago, in a protest against housing conditions and racism. Part B follows the Johnson administration's reactions to Selma, which culminated in the drafting of the Voting Rights Act. Part C follows the bill's passage through Congress, laying out in detail the specifics of the legislative process. The sequel concludes with a discussion of the Voting Rights Act's impact on voter registration and the civil rights movement. The summary case outlines this history in abbreviated form. The background note provides a historical account of major civil rights events preceding the Selma campaign; a chronology of events leading up to the Voting Rights Act is also available.

Learning Objective:
In sum, this case shows how an organized citizenry can become a potent political force.

Other Details

Case Author:
Glenn Reichardt and James Henderson
Faculty Lead:
Philip Heymann and Richard Neustadt and Mark Moore
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States
Funding Source:
Ford Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation