Today in History (September 22)

On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which set the date of January 1st as the date for the freedom of more than 3 million enslaved people in the United States. Earlier, in 1862, Lincoln informed his cabinet that he would issue an emancipation proclamation but that it would exempt the so-called border states, which had slaveholders but remained loyal to the Union. His cabinet persuaded him not to make the announcement until after a Union victory. Lincoln’s opportunity came following the Union win at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. On September 22, the president announced that enslaved people in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be made free. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln officially issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ensure its permanence. Passed by Congress and ratified by the states in 1865, the 13th Amendment forever abolishes slavery as an institution in all U.S. states and territories.

Also on this day in 1969 - Willie Mays hit his 600th career home run.


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