“This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South: ‘All men are created equal”–‘government by consent of the governed’–‘give me liberty or give me death.’…Our fathers believed that if this noble view of the rights of man was to flourish, it must be rooted in democracy. The most basic right of all was the right to choose your own leaders. The history of this country, in large measure, is the history of the expansion of that right to all of our people.
It is “wrong–deadly wrong–to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country.”
President Lyndon Johnson, presenting the Voting Rights Bill to Congress, while 70 million Americans watched on television, 1965