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Remembering Rep. John Dingell: Voting Rights Act Was Most Important In His Career

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) in a 2013 congressional hearing.

Many are remembering former Michigan Representative John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history. He died at the age of 92. In 2014, he told WKAR that why he thought his vote for the 1965 Voting Rights Act was the most important of his 58-year career.

In a 2014 interview with Michigan Rep. John Dingell (D), he reflected on his vote for the Voting Rights Act. It was one of many pieces of legislation he helped pass in nearly 6-decades representing Michigan in Congress. 

"If you remember looking at television and listening to the radio and reading the [news]papers, I think you'd be horrified when you see what all transpired in this country. You'll see that there was rioting. African-Americans had dogs sicced on them. They were beaten with clubs. They were sprinkled with fire hoses. They were locked up overnight. They were murdered and frankly, they showed an extraordinary level of decency in the way they sought their legitimate rights. And the real question was 'how much longer would African-Americans have tolerated this situation?' That was something that had to be addressed, something that would be addressed so that we sought to it that every American has all of the rights that he was supposed to have. Remember the most important single right an American has is probably the right to vote. That is the right that he has or she has to see to it that they actually have a say about what goes on in their country." 

After retiring from Congress in 2014, Rep. John Dingell’s wife Debbie successfully won her husband’s seat in 2014.

Click here to listen to the entire interview with Rep. John Dingell in 2014.

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