Think of it as an early Thanksgiving, putting long waits and polling site madness aside: Let's be thankful for the right to vote. The 19th Amendment--"The right of citizens of the United State to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United State or by any State on account of sex"-- was ratified in 1920 and the Voting Rights Act, which, according to the Department of Justice, "codifies and effectuates the 15th Amendment's permanent guarantee that, throughout the nation, no person shall be denied the right to vote on account of race or color," was established in 1965.

The photograph at top is a plaque commemorating Freedom Place, a four-block long street between 66th and 70th Streets, running west and parallel of West End Avenue, in Manhattan. The plaque, dedicated by the West Side Civil Rights Committee in 1967, reads, "In memory of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, who on June 21, 1964 in Philadelphia, Mississippi gave their lives in the unending struggle for freedom and democracy."

Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were the young men who, while working to register black voters in the South, were killed by the KKK (this also became basis for the movie Mississippi Burning). Last year, in an obituary of Goodman's mother Carolyn Goodman, a civil rights activist and clinical psychologist on the Upper West Side, the NY Times said their deaths were "widely seen as helping inspire the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act the same year."

The men who shot and later buried Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner 15-feet underneath a dam were convicted of civil rights violations, but not murder. In 2005, Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood revisited the case and tried Edgar Ray Killen, considered the ringleader in the murders. Killen was ultimately convicted of manslaughter, but not murder.

More on NYC voting history at the Bowery Boys.