In 1971, Congress passed a Joint Resolution to grant the right to vote to American citizens who are 18 years of age or older. After 11 attempts by U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph to get the voting age lowered from 21 to 18, the U.S. Senate approved the resolution on March 10, 1971. After it passed the U.S. House of Representatives, it took 3 months and 8 days to be ratified by three-fourths of state legislatures - the shortest period of time for any amendment. On July 5, 1971, in a ceremony at the White House, President Richard Nixon oversaw the certification of the amendment.
Jennifer Johnson gave a tour of the National Archives “Amending America” exhibit. She explained the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971.
Joint Resolution proposing the 26th amendment to the Constitution
President Nixon certifies the 26th Amendment
Explains the process to amend the U.S. Constitution
C-SPAN Lesson Plan on the Expansion of Voting Rights
Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote was the grand-prize winner in C-SPAN Classroom’s StudentCam documentary contest. Adam Koch and Tyler Cooney, seniors at Dallas Center-Grimes High School in Grimes, Iowa, produced this video on the 26th Amendment.
Detailed discussion of the passage of the 26th Amendment