Extremely Important Dates In Voting History
1787The passage of the U.S. Constitution giving white male property owners age 21 and over the right to vote.1807 - 1843Series of acts that changed voting requirments so that all white men 21 and older could vote.1870The 15th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote to all men that were 21 or older regardless of race or ethnic background.1920The 19th Amendment gave women age 21 and older the right to vote.1964The 24th Amendment made it illegal for states to charge poll tax to voters.1965The Voting Rights Act authorized the federal government to take over registration of voters in areas where state officials had regularly prevented blacks and other minorities from registering to vote or cast their ballots through usage of literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and intimidation tactics. This Act enforced provisions previously guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments almost a century earlier.1971The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age across the nation to 18.1982The Voting Rights Act Amendments extended right to vote guarantees given in the 1965 legislation. Further provisions for Americans with disabilities, voters not able to read and write, and those not fluent in English were added to insure their freedoms.1993The National Voter Registration Act (Motor Voter) expanded the opportunity for convenient voter registration for every person of voting age by increasing the number of active government agencies serving as registries. The departments of Safety, Health, human Services, Mental Health and Retardation, and Veteran's Affairs are required to include voter registration applications with their own department's forms. Other government offices such as libraries, post offices, county clerk offices, and the Registrar of Deeds will also have voter forms available to the public.1994The Tennessee Early Voting Act replaced the previous absentee voting system used for the state. Tennesseans now have a period of 15 days in which to vote early before the actual election day without declaring a reason for this early casting of votes. Voters using this opportunity may vote at their county election office or any one of its satellite locations in that county during their posted hours of operation.
Historical Facts On The Power Of Just One Vote
One vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.
One vote gave America the English language instead of German.
One vote saved President Andrew Jackson from impeachment.
One vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
One vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the United States of America.
One vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.
One vote saved the Selective Service - just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.
One vote decided a state House race in Oakland County, Michigan.
*If you think otherwise, history is proof of the lasting ramifications one deciding vote can have*
John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865)
Actor; in the words of one critic, "a star of the first magnitude," especially in the South...Brother Edwin, however, was preeminent actor of the day...Passionate supporter of the Confederate cause...Concocted a plan to kidnap Abraham Licoln and exchange his freedom for that of thousands of Confederate prisoners of war...Assassinated Licoln at Ford's Theater, April 14, 1865, during performance of Our American Cousin...Broke his leg as he escaped...Finally run to earth in a Virginia tobacco barn, where he either was killed or killed himself to avoid capture...Sent letter to the newspapers the day of the assassination explaining his motives; letter never published.
Charles Guiteau (1841-1882)
Pursued various careers, from the law to evangelism, failing at all of them...Published a volume of theology, "The Truth," which was almost entirely a plagiarism...Composed an unsolicited and barely coherent campaign speech for Republican Presidential candidate James Garfield, which he felt was responsible for Garfield's election; expected as a reward to be appointed Ambassador to France...Rebuffed, shot Garfield twice in the back, July 2, 1881, as the President prepared to board a train a the Baltimore and Potomac railroad station, Washington, D.C....On the morning of his execution, composed a poem, I Am Going to the Lordy, which he recited from the gallows immediately before he was hanged.
Leon Czolgosz (1873-1901)
Son of recently arrived Polish immigrants...Full-time laborer by age 12, first in a glass factory, later in a wire mill...Attended a number of Anarchist rallies and had a brief meeting with Anarchist agitator Emma Goldman...Assassinated President William McKinley, September 6, 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo..."I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people -- the good working people," he said. "I done my duty."
Giuseppe Zangara (1900-1933)
Immigrant bricklayer from Calabria...Barely five feet tall...Suffered burning pains in stomach, which he blamed on capitalist system which forced his father to put him to work at age 6...Attempted to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, February 15, 1933, as Roosevelt spoke to crowd of supporters in Miami's Bayfront Park...Too small to see over the crowd, he stood on a chair, which wobbled, causing him to miss Roosevelt, and instead kill Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago.
Lee Harvey Oswald (1931-1963)
Assassinated President John F. Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.
Samuel Byck (1930-1974)
Unemployed tire salesman...Sent long, rambling tape recordings to various celebrities, among them Jonas Salk, Senator Abraham Ribicoff, and Leonard Bernstein...Convinced that the American political system wass fundamentally corrupt, he picketed the White House, Christmas Eve 1973, dressed in a Santa Claus suit... Attempted to assassinate President Richard Nixon, February 22, 1974, by hijacking a commercial jetliner that he intended to crash dive into the White House...Killed two before he himself was killed.
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (b. 1948)
Middle-class childhood in Los Angeles suburbs; cheerleader in high school...Met Charles Manson on the beach in Venice, California, 1967, and became one of his disciples; believed Manson was the Messiah whose teachings could save mankind...Planned to commit a crime for which she would be arrested and put on trial; Manson would appear as a witness at the trial and preach to the world...Attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford, September 5, 1975, as he left the Senator Hotel in Sacramento.
Sara Jane Moore (b. 1930)
Married five times, four children, entered and dropped out of nursing school, joined the Women's Army Corps, became a C.P.A....At age 42, abandoned marriage and career to immerse herself in counter-culture lifestyle and revolutionary politics of the day...Recruited as informant by the F.B.I....In effort to reestablish her radical credentials, attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford, September 22, 1975, as he left the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
John W. Hinckley, Jr. (b. 1955)
Son of a successful oil company executive; mother, a self-styled model home-maker...Attended college for seven years without graduating, moved back in with his parents...Developed an obsessive infatuation with movie actress Jodie Foster...After several failed attempts to make contact with her, determined to attract her attention by killing prominent public figure...Attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton Hotel, March 30, 1981, seriously wounding four people, including the President.