A Lyndon B. Johnson signed official printing of a landmark Civil Rights bill sold for $85,332, according to Boston-based RR Auction
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was designed to secure the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South.
Signed into law by President Johnson at the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act was designed to secure the right to vote for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. It is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the United States: by the end of 1965, a quarter of a million new Black voters had been registered.
The ten-page document signed as president, signed "Lyndon B. Johnson, August 6, 1965," August 6, 1965. Official printing of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965., "S. 1564: An Act To enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes," signed at the conclusion by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, and Speaker of the House John McCormack. In part: "No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State of political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.
"This act was the result of the march on Selma over voter rights at a time when voting rights is being challenged it is particularly important," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
The document was purchased by Kenneth Rendell, a historical document dealer based in the suburbs of Boston, who had been waiting decades for this signed copy to reach the marketplace.
"Sy Halpern, a New York Congressman and co-sponsor of the Civil Rights Act and the most liberal Republican in Congress, had the GOP print a second copy of this bill, which they were very reluctant to do," said Rendell. "Halpern had been invited to the signing and he had it inside his suit jacket and slipped it in front of President Johnson after he signed the copy that went to the National Archives."
"Halpern was my best client at the time and he was ecstatic he pulled it off. I'm very glad nearly 56 years later to own it," added Rendell.
Addition highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:
Martin Luther King Jr. 'Thank-you' letter to Sammy Davis Jr. for his help with Freedom Movement sold for $50,000.
An American flag flown over the United States Capitol on April 4, 1968the day of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. sold for $3,440.
The Fine Autograph and Artifacts sale from RR Auction began on February 19 and concluded March 10.