Five Minnesotans who helped pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be honored

Five Minnesotans who had a role in passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will be honored Thursday at a ceremony in St. Paul.

The Act provided federal oversight of voter registration in areas where less than 50 percent of the non-white population had not registered to vote, banned literacy tests and authorized federal investigation into the use of poll taxes in state and local elections.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon has arranged Thursday’s event for the 50th anniversary of the historic legislation to honor those who helped make it happen.

Four surviving members of the state’s congressional delegation will be at the event, which is July 30, 2 p.m., at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul:

  • Vice President Walter Mondale, then a U.S. Senator
  • Governor Al Quie, then in Congress
  • U.S. Rep. and later Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser
  • U.S. Rep. Alec Olson

Also honored will be civil rights pioneer Josie Johnson.

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