Best of America

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

In many ways, 2012 was the year of Lincoln: On the big screen, he worked tirelessly to ensure the passage of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery in the United States*, and in real life, this New Year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a decree freeing all slaves in Confederate states at war with the Union.

In honor of this momentous anniversary, the National Archives will have the original document on display at the National Archives. However, if you can’t make it to D.C. for this special viewing, here are a few reads that duly commemorate the Proclamation, one of Lincoln’s most symbolic acts as President:

• For an understanding of the Proclamation’s historic implications: Historian Louis P. Mansur, Professor of American studies and history at Rutgers, gave an interview with the university’s newspaper about the Emancipation Proclamation and its significance then and now.

For an understanding of the cultural debate around the document: This thorough piece from USA Today examines the lingering controversy surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation.

* And fought vampires.

Photo credit: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

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