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A Voting Rights Chronology: 1870 to the Present


  • 15th Amendment to the Constitution grants voting rights to African American males.


  • The Niagara Movement is born.


  • 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote.


  • President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957, primarily to protect voting rights by establishing a Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department and a U. S. Civil Rights Commission to investigate cases of denial of civil rights.


  • President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

  • Federal court ends restrictions against voting by Blacks in Fayette County, Tennessee.


  • Fannie Lou Hamer becomes a leading advocate for voting rights as a voter registration field worker.


  • After 3rd attempt to register to vote, Fannie Lou Hamer passes required literacy test in Mississippi.


  • Poll taxes are outlawed in federal elections after passing of 24th Amendment to the Constitution.

  • Civil Rights workers, James E. Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman are murdered while helping with voter registration in Mississippi.


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November 1999