Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US free slave document marks 150 years

31 December 2012, 16:28

Washington - The document that freed slaves held in the US South celebrates its 150th birthday on Tuesday, and to mark the occasion, the National Archives has put it on display.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, declaring all slaves in Confederate territories, the rebellious southern states, to be "forever free”.

The proclamation led to the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the constitution in 1865, which legally ended the institution of slavery across the US.

Several hundred people lined up Sunday in Washington to view what the National Archives called "one of the great documents of human freedom”.

Two of the original five pages of the document are on display through Tuesday in a plexiglass case in the rotunda of the National Archives buiding.

The tumultuous period in US history during which the Emancipation Proclamation was written and signed is also the subject of the current major motion picture Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis, which has been nominated for multiple awards.

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose books provided the basis for the movie and who collaborated in its production, said on NBC News on Sunday that, philosophically, Lincoln always believed slavery was wrong.

The question he had to resolve, she said, was what power did he have to abolish it.

The Emancipation Proclamation was not passed by Congress but was a military order Lincoln issued as commander-in-chief of the US armed forces.

It brought freedom to slaves in areas under the control of Lincoln's Union army.

The National Archives is the nation's record keeper.

It also keeps original copies of the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence.

The Emancipation Proclamation can be displayed only for a limited time because of its fragility, which can worsen by exposure to light, the archives said.

The archives is to cap its three-day display with a public reading of the proclamation on Tuesday morning.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...