On this date, forty four years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the “National Voting Rights Act of 1965.” The Act was intended to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It did so by outlawing disfranchisement practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests. Amazingly, the 1965 Act was ratified some 95 years after the fifteenth amendment was signed into law.
[For those keeping score, here's the legislative history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: The Act was sent to Congress by President Johnson on March 17, 1965. The Senate passed the bill on May 11 (after a successful cloture vote on March 23); the House passed it on July 10. After differences between the two bills were resolved in conference, the House passed the Conference Report on August 3, the Senate on August 4. President Johnson signed the Act on August 6, 1965.]
Posted in African American, Civil Rights, In the News, Politics, Race Relations
Tagged 1960s, 1965, civil rights, disenfranchisement, disfranchisement, law, Politics, suffrage, vote, voting, voting rights act
From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch
Susie Marshall Sharp (1907-1996) of Reidsville, N.C., attorney and jurist, was elected chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1974, becoming the first woman elected chief justice of a state supreme court in the United States. A graduate of the North Carolina College for Women and the University of North Carolina School of Law, Sharp began the practice of law in Reidsville in 1929. She served as Reidsville city attorney, 1939-1949; North Carolina superior court judge until 1962; and as supreme court justice, 1962-1979.
Sharp’s family background, her career as an attorney, judge and politician, and her previously unexamined private life are recounted in a new book by Anna Hayes, Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp.
Published by the University of North Carolina Press, the book will be launched Sept. 11, in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The free public program will be at 5:45 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room. For program information, contact Liza Terll (919-962-4207). A full event notice is available from the main UNC Library website.