44 BC — Julius Caesar, dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.
1493 — Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.
1781 — American Revolutionary War: (Battle of Guilford Court House) Near present-day Greensboro, N.C., 1,900 British troops under General Charles Cornwallis defeat a mixed American force numbering 4,400 in a Pyrrhic victory.
1820 — Maine becomes the 23rd U.S. state.
1877 — First official cricket test match played: Australia vs. England at the MCG Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
1916 — U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 troops across the U.S.–Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.
1917 — Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne ending the 304-year Romanov dynasty.
1965 — U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.
1990 — Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first President of the Soviet Union.
Born on this date …
1767 — Andrew Jackson, American general, 7th President of the United States (d. 1845)
1912 — Lightnin’ Hopkins, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1982)
1919 — Lawrence Tierney, American actor (d. 2002)
1926 — Norm Van Brocklin, American football player and coach (d. 1983)
1932 — Alan Bean, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2018)
1933 — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, American lawyer and judge
1935 — Judd Hirsch, American actor
1935 — Jimmy Swaggart, American pastor and television host
1941 — Mike Love, American singer-songwriter and musician
1943 — Sly Stone, American singer-songwriter, musician, and producer
1943 — The Iron Sheik, Iranian-American wrestler and actor
1946 — Bobby Bonds, American baseball player and coach (d. 2003)
1947 — Ry Cooder, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
1955 — Dee Snider, American singer-songwriter and actor
1959 — Harold Baines, American baseball player and coach
1962 — Terence Trent D’Arby, American singer-songwriter
1963 — Bret Michaels, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor
1975 — will.i.am, American rapper, producer, and actor
Died on this date …
44 BC — Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman (b. 100 BC)
1990 — Tom Harmon, American football player and sportscaster (b. 1919)
1998 — Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and author (b. 1903)
2007 — Charles Harrelson, American murderer (b. 1938)
2007 — Bowie Kuhn, American lawyer and businessman (b. 1926)
2009 — Ron Silver, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1946)
2011 — Nate Dogg, American rapper (b. 1969)
How the Voting Rights Act came to pass
- The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was introduced in Congress on March 17 as S. 1564.
- The bill was jointly sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) and Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL).
- Emanuel Celler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the Voting Rights Act in the House of Representatives on March 19, 1965, as H.R. 6400.
- On May 26, the Senate passed the bill by a 77-19 vote (Democrats 47-16, Republicans 30-2); only Senators representing Southern states voted against it.
- On July 9, the House passed the Voting Rights Act by a 333-85 vote (Democrats 221-61, Republicans 112-24).
- The chambers appointed a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
- The House approved the conference report version of the bill on Aug. 3 by a 328-74 vote (Democrats 217-54, Republicans 111-20).
- The Senate passed it on Aug. 4 by a 79-18 vote (Democrats 49-17, Republicans 30-1).
- On Aug. 6, President Johnson signed the Act into law with Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, John Lewis, and other civil rights leaders in attendance at the ceremony.