President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act on Tuesday

making lynching a federal hate crime after more than a century of failed efforts in Congress to pass similar legislation.

The bill is named after Till, a 14-year-old Black teenager from Chicago who was abducted, tortured and shot in the head in 1955 after a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, said he whistled at her and touched her in a Mississippi store.

The Senate cleared the bill on March 7 by unanimous consent, indicating no opposition, after the House passed it on Feb. 28 in a 422-3 vote.

The three votes against the measure came from GOP Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Chip Roy of Texas and Andrew S. Clyde of Georgia.

Congress had fallen short on passing anti-lynching bills more than 200 times since 1900.

Biden said during the bill signing ceremony that the antilynching law was not just about the civil rights struggle from decades ago, citing the 2020 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery and the white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.

The enacted legislation, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., will make it possible to prosecute a crime as lynching when a conspiracy to commit a hate crime results in death or serious bodily injury, with perpetrators facing up to 30 years in prison.

Joe Biden signs bill making lynching a federal hate crime