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Voting Rights Act Marks 40th Anniversary

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Forty years ago this week, the Voting Rights Act became law. That document was signed after one of the civil rights movement's more dramatic events. In March 1965, state troopers attacked protesters near Selma, Alabama. That day became known as Bloody Sunday, and it galvanized the nation. On August 6th, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed new voting protections for African-Americans.

(Soundbite of 1965 speech)

President LYNDON B. JOHNSON: They came in darkness and they came in chains, and today we strike away the last major shackle of those fierce and ancient bonds. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.