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Gov. Northam commemorates 50 years since 1971 state constitution took effect

Governor Northam and Professor Howard viewing original copies of Virginia’s Constitutions at...
Governor Northam and Professor Howard viewing original copies of Virginia’s Constitutions at the Library of Virginia.(Governor Northam's Office)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 9:12 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam made a trip to the Library of Virginia in order to commemorate 50 years since the current state constitution took effect in 1971.

During Reconstruction in the years after the Civil War, Virginia leaders re-wrote the document to ensure white supremacy by adding voting barriers aimed at the Black community and requiring segregated schools.

Some of the most discriminatory provisions of the 1902 Constitution were reversed by federal law or court decisions, however, it remained in effect for most of the 20th century, until voters approved a new constitution in 1971.

The 1971 Constitution officially replaced those prejudiced practices.

“The 50th anniversary of Virginia’s 1971 Constitution is an important opportunity to acknowledge how our Commonwealth has evolved,” said Governor Northam.

Original copies of Virginia’s Constitutions can be viewed from June 29 – July 1, 2021 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

Learn more about events to commemorate the anniversary here.

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