• Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and  the Civil Rights Movement

    Martin Luther King Jr

    National Historic Site Georgia

United States Congress

Acts, Bills, and Public Laws


Proposed 13th. Amendment

March 2, 1861
No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish ....

13th. Amendment, December 18, 1865

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


Civil Rights Act of 1866


Reconstruction Act of 1867


14th. Amendment, July 28, 1868

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.


15th. Amendment, March 30, 1870

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.


Civil Rights Act of 1870

Civil Rights Act of 1875


Organic Act, August 25,1916


19th. Amendment, August 26, 1920

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.


Civil Rights Act of 1957


Civil Rights Act of 1960


24th. Amendment, February 4, 1964

The right of citizens of the United States to vote ... shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.


Civil Rights Act of 1964

Voting Rights Act of 1965


National Historic Preservation Act, October 15, 1966


Civil Rights Bill of 1968


26th. Amendment, July 5, 1971

The right of citizens of the United States to vote ... shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.


Proposed 27th. Amendment, March 22, 1972

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.


Public Law 96-428, October 10, 1980

An Act to establish the Martin Luther King, Junior, National Historic Site in the State of Georgia, and for other purposes.


Public Law 98-144, November 2, 1983

An Act to establish the Martin Luther King, Junior, Federal Holiday.


Public Law 98-399, August 27, 1984

An Act to establish a commission to assist in the first observance of the Federal legal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.


Public Law 101-30, November 12, 1996.

An Act to make permanent the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday Commission.


Civil Rights Bill of 1990 Statement on Civil Rights Act of 1990 Veto, October 20, 1990

Veto of Act, October 22, 1990

Proposed Civil Rights Legislation, October 22, 1990


Civil Rights Act of 1991


Public Law 103-304, August 23, 1994.

An act to authorize appropriations for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, to extend such Commission, and to support the planning and performance of national service opportunities in conjunction with the Federal legal holiday honoring the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Public Law 104-333 Section 501, November 12, 1996.

The National Trails System Act (16 U.S.C. 1244(a)) is amended by adding...the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail....


Public Law 104-333 Section 508, November 12, 1996.

The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to permit the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to establish a memorial...to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., pursuant to the Commemorative Works Act of 1986.

Did You Know?

From the 1880s to the 1960s, a majority of American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws (so called after a black character in minstrel shows). From Delaware to California, and from North Dakota to Texas.