[Barbara Jordan Scrapbook, July - November 1975] Page: 73 of 340
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H OUSTON, CH RONICLE
HOUSTON, TEXAS, THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 1975
Jordan Gets Both Her Wishes
--Voting Act and Ford Cards
BY CRAGG HINES
Chronicle Washington Bureau
Washington - Rep. Barbara C. Jordan,
D-Tex., decides what she wants and, with
surprising regularity, gets it.
For example, she wanted the Voting
Rights Act expanded to cover Texas
She got that Wednesday when Pregi-
dent Ford signed a bill that extends the
law's provisions to Texas and other areas
with "language minorities." The signing
- came 10 years to the day after a Jordan
mentor, former President Lyndon B.
Johnson, signed the first version of the
landmark Civil Rights Act.
At the signing ceremony, Jordan saw
something else she wanted: the big index
cards from which Ford read his brief
remarks before signing the bill into law.
After the signing, Ford hung around
the steamy rose garden, just outside his
White House office, to chat with mem-
bers of congress and civil rights leaders
who attended the ceremony.
After a few minutes, Jordan approach-
ed the President. She asked for the cards
and wondered if he would autograph the
Ford said yes to both requests and
pulled out the felt-tip pen he used to sign
the ac . Jordan thanked him and, smiling
broad 1, put the cards into her white
Jordan said later that she is not an
ardent collector, but "this is my first big
legislative victory," and she wanted a
The ceremony was reminiscent of such
bill signings from the mid-1960 halcyon
days of the civil rights movements, al-
though the Johnson signings were often
more dramatic. Johnson went to the
Statue of Liberty in New York harbor to
sign the first enactment of the voting
Several civil rights and liberal leaders
were present Wednesday including Roy
Wilkins, president of the NAACP, and the
organization's chief Washington lobbyist,
After Ford signed the law, Mitchell,
standing behind a restraining rope, spoke
up to tell Ford "the nation owes you a
debt of gratitude." Mitchell said Ford's
support for extending the law had been
Jordan a 1 s o complimented Ford
"He has a lot of baggage to carry,"
including the Republican party, a con-
servative ideology and 25 years in the
House, some of which he spent as minor-
ity leader, said Jordan, who voted
against Ford's confirmation as vice-presi-
dent in 1973.
Jordan was also conciliatory toward
Texas politicians, such as Gov. Dolph
Briscoe, who have spoken out strongly
against including Texas under the act.
"Their fears are over exaggerated,"
she said. "I bet they are going to be very
The law requires that all changes in
voting laws or procedures of a covered
jurisdiction be approved by the U.S.
attorney general before they can go into
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[Barbara Jordan Scrapbook, July - November 1975], book, 1975; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616556/m1/73/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Southern University.