David M. Rubenstein Gallery

David M. Rubenstein Gallery / Records of Rights

Records of Rights: a permanent exhibition in the new David M. Rubenstein Gallery, National Archives, Washington, DC

America’s founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—are icons of human liberty. But the ideals enshrined in those documents did not initially apply to all Americans. They were, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” “Records of Rights” allows visitors to explore how generations of Americans sought to fulfill this promise. The exhibition showcases original and facsimile National Archives documents and uses an innovative 17-foot touch screen interactive table to illustrate how Americans throughout our history have debated issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity.

(Voting Rights Act) Act of August 6, 1965, Public Law 89-110, 79 STAT 437, Which Enforced the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 8/6/1965

Landmark Document Case

The Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting. On display through September 16, 2015.


Magna Carta

photoBegin your exploration of "Records of Rights" by viewing the original 1297 Magna Carta, on display courtesy of David M. Rubenstein.

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The "Records of Rights" exhibition and the David M. Rubenstein Gallery are made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives, through the support of David M. Rubenstein.