Ceremonial Pen Used to Sign the Voting Rights Act
- Frame: metal, wood, black velour; Pen: metal, plastic; Label: ink on paper
- Frame: 6 5/16 × 10 3/8 × 1 3/16 in. (16 × 26.3 × 3 cm)
- Cite As
- Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
- When a U.S. President signs a bill, a select number of people receive pens used for the occasion. This ceremonial pen was given to journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991) in recognition for her civil rights activism. The fountain pen’s metal nib connects to a black, plastic feed followed by a tapered, translucent barrel, also plastic. A black and gold frame holds the pen above a summary of the bill, Senate 1564. President Lyndon B. Johnson used this ceremonial pen to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law on August 6, 1965. The previous year, President Johnson presented Payne with a ceremonial pen at the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, also in ACM’s Collection. The pens are treasured tokens of political favor.
- Accession Number
- framed pen
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- Anacostia Community Museum Collection
- Data Source
- Anacostia Community Museum
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