1965: Voting Rights Act Is Signed By Lyndon B. Johnson

By Karen Harris
U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson hands a pen to Civil Rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. during the signing of the Voting Rights Act as officials look on behind them, Washington, D.C., August 6, 1965. (Washington Bureau/Getty Images)

The Civil Rights movement was alive and kicking long before Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in following John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963 and freely elected the following year, but it was Johnson who signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act, which was signed on August 6 of that year, is widely believed to be the most comprehensive Civil Rights law in United States history.