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13 December 1940
Leval is dismissed from the Vichy government by Petain
Baseball History on December 13
Baseball history on December 13, including a list of every Major League baseball player born on December 13, a list of every Major League baseball player who died on December 13, a list of every Major League baseball player who made their big league debut on December 13, and a list of every Major League baseball player whose final big league game was on December 13.
"No matter how your mind works, baseball reaches out to you. If you're an emotional person, baseball asks for your heart. If you are a thinking man or a thinking woman, baseball wants your opinion. Whether you are left-brain or right-brain, Type A or Type Z, whether your mind is bent towards mathematics or toward history or psychology or geometry, whether you are young or old, baseball has its way of asking for you. If you are a reader, there is always something new to read about baseball, and always something old. If you are a sedentary person, a TV watcher, baseball is on TV if you always have to be going somewhere, baseball is somewhere you can go. If you are a collector, baseball offers you a hundred things that you can collect. If you have children, baseball is something you can do with children if you have parents and cannot talk to them, baseball is something you can still talk to them about." - Baseball Historian Bill James in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (Free Press Publishing, 06/13/2003, "Part 1: The Game", Page 5)
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Gerald “Jerry” Anderson Lawson (1940-2011)
Computer game innovator Gerald “Jerry” Anderson Lawson was born in Brooklyn, New York on Dec. 1, 1940, and grew up in Queens. His parents, both blue collar workers, encouraged his intellectual pursuits. Lawson’s father was a longshoreman by profession and a voracious reader of science books, Lawson’s mother was a city employee, and also president of the PTA at the nearly predominantly white school Lawson attended.
As a boy Lawson pursued a number of scientific interests, ham radio and chemistry among them. As a teenager Lawson earned money repairing television sets. During the 1960s Lawson attended both Queens College and the City College of New York, but never received a degree. His interest in computing led him in the 1970s to Silicon Valley’s Homebrew Computer Club, where he and Ron Jones were the only black members. While with the club Dawson crossed paths with Apple Computer Inc.’s founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. During this period Lawson invented an early coin-operated arcade game, Demolition Derby.
In 1976 Lawson went to work at the computer firm Fairchild Semiconductor. The technology for creating consoles for home use was then in its infancy, when manufacturers had games built into their circuitry. In 1976, while working as Fairchild Semiconductor’s director of engineering and marketing, Dawson helped to develop The Fairchild Channel F, which allowed users to insert different cartridges that stored new games. Dawson’s innovation allowed people to play a variety of games in their homes, and paved the way for much more elaborate systems such as the Atari 2600, Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation. Though basic by today’s standards, Lawson’s breakthrough idea created the business model for computer games that remains intact in today’s multi-billion dollar computer game industry.
In 1980 Lawson left Fairchild to set up his own games company, Videosoft, which produced games for manufacturers, including Atari. As the processing power of game consoles increased, Lawson found himself disapproving of the emphasis on violence that began to replace the innocent, blocky graphics of his era. Despite expectations of success in the emerging computer gaming market, Videosoft created only one cartridge, “Color Bar Generator,” which was designed to calibrate television color, as well as to adjust the vertical and horizontal picture hold on television sets. With that one cartridge Lawson and Videosoft never reaped huge profits from the industry that he helped create.
Nonetheless, Gerald Lawson was among a handful of black engineering pioneers in the world of electronics in general and particularly in electronic gaming. In March 2011 Lawson was honored as an industry pioneer by the International Game Developers Association. Tragically, only a month after receiving the award, Dawson died of complications of diabetes on April 9, 2011, in Mountain View, California. He was 70. Lawson was survived by his wife, Catherine, and two children, Karen and Marc.
13 December 1972
Eugene A. Cernan at the Taurus-Littrow Valley during the third EVA of the Apollo 17 mission. (Harrison H. Schmitt/NASA)
13 December 1972: At approximately 22:26 UTC, NASA Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt began the last of three moon walks, or EVAs, on the surface of the Moon at the Taurus-Littrow Valley.
“Bob, [Robert A.P. Parker, Astronaut, Houston Mission Control Cap Com] this is Gene, and I’m on the surface and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come — but we believe not too long into the future — I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return: with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
— Astronaut Eugene Andrew Cernan, Captain, USN, at the Taurus Littrow Valley, The Moon, at Mission Time 170:40:00
Eugene A. Cernan, Mission Commander, inside the Lunar Module Challenger after the third EVA, 13 December 1972. (Harrison H. Schmitt/NASA)
This was the final EVA of the Apollo Program, lasting approximately 7 hours, 15 minutes. Then Harrison H. Schmitt and Gene Cernan climbed up into the Lunar Module Challenger to prepare to lift off the following day.
Gene Cernan was the last man to stand on the surface of the Moon.
Harrison H. Schmitt, Lunar Module Pilot, inside the LM after the final EVA of the Apollo Program, 13 December 1972. (Eugene A. Cernan/NASA)
The Boy Who Became a World War II Veteran at 13 Years Old
With powerful engines, extensive firepower and heavy armor, the newly christened battleship USS South Dakota steamed out of Philadelphia in August of 1942 spoiling for a fight. The crew was made up of “green boys”—new recruits who enlisted after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor—who had no qualms about either their destination or the action they were likely to see. Brash and confident, the crew couldn’t get through the Panama Canal fast enough, and their captain, Thomas Gatch, made no secret of the grudge he bore against the Japanese. “No ship more eager to fight ever entered the Pacific,” one naval historian wrote.
From This Story
Video: Archival Footage of D-Day
In less than four months, the South Dakota would limp back to port in New York for repairs to extensive damage suffered in some of World War II’s most ferocious battles at sea. The ship would become one of the most decorated warships in U.S. Navy history and acquire a new moniker to reflect the secrets it carried. The Japanese, it turned out, were convinced the vessel had been destroyed at sea, and the Navy was only too happy to keep the mystery alive—stripping the South Dakota of identifying markings and avoiding any mention of it in communications and even sailors’ diaries. When newspapers later reported on the ship’s remarkable accomplishments in the Pacific Theater, they referred to it simply as “Battleship X.”
Calvin Graham, the USS South Dakota‘s 12-year-old gunner, in 1942. Photo: Wikipedia
That the vessel was not resting at the bottom of the Pacific was just one of the secrets Battleship X carried through day after day of hellish war at sea. Aboard was a gunner from Texas who would soon become the nation’s youngest decorated war hero. Calvin Graham, the fresh-faced seaman who had set off for battle from the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the summer of 1942, was only 12 years old.
Graham was just 11 and in the sixth grade in Crockett, Texas, when he hatched his plan to lie about his age and join the Navy. One of seven children living at home with an abusive stepfather, he and an older brother moved into a cheap rooming house, and Calvin supported himself by selling newspapers and delivering telegrams on weekends and after school. Even though he moved out, his mother would occasionally visit—sometimes to simply sign his report cards at the end of a semester. The country was at war, however, and being around newspapers afforded the boy the opportunity to keep up on events overseas.
“I didn’t like Hitler to start with,” Graham later told a reporter. When he learned that some of his cousins had died in battles, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to fight. “In those days, you could join up at 16 with your parents’ consent, but they preferred 17,” Graham later said. But he had no intention of waiting five more years. He began to shave at age 11, hoping it would somehow make him look older when he met with military recruiters. Then he lined up with some buddies (who forged his mother’s signature and stole a notary stamp from a local hotel) and waited to enlist.
At 5-foot-2 and just 125 pounds, Graham dressed in an older brother’s clothes and fedora and practiced “talking deep.” What worried him most was not that an enlistment officer would spot the forged signature. It was the dentist who would peer into the mouths of potential recruits. “I knew he’d know how young I was by my teeth,” Graham recalled. He lined up behind a couple of guys he knew who were already 14 or 15, and “when the dentist kept saying I was 12, I said I was 17.” At last, Graham played his ace, telling the dentist that he knew for a fact that the boys in front of him weren’t 17 yet, and the dentist had let them through. “Finally,” Graham recalled, “he said he didn’t have time to mess with me and he let me go.” Graham maintained that the Navy knew he and the others on line that day were underage, “but we were losing the war then, so they took six of us.”
It wasn’t uncommon for boys to lie about their age in order to serve. Ray Jackson, who joined the Marines at 16 during World War II, founded the group Veterans of Underage Military Service in 1991, and it listed more than 1,200 active members, including 26 women. “Some of these guys came from large families and there wasn’t enough food to go around, and this was a way out,” Jackson told a reporter. “Others just had family problems and wanted to get away.”
Calvin Graham told his mother he was going to visit relatives. Instead, he dropped out of the seventh grade and shipped off to San Diego for basic training. There, he said, the drill instructors were aware of the underage recruits and often made them run extra miles and lug heavier packs.
Just months after her christening in 1942, the USS South Dakota was attacked relentlessly in the Pacific. Photo: Wikipedia
By the time the USS South Dakota made it to the Pacific, it had become part of a task force alongside the legendary carrier USS Enterprise (the “Big E”). By early October 1942, the two ships, along with their escorting cruisers and destroyers, raced to the South Pacific to engage in the fierce fighting in the battle for Guadalcanal. After they reached the Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, the Japanese quickly set their sights on the carrier and launched an air attack that easily penetrated the Enterprise’s own air patrol. The carrier USS Hornet was repeatedly torpedoed and sank off Santa Cruz, but the South Dakota managed to protect Enterprise, destroying 26 enemy planes with a barrage from its antiaircraft guns.
Standing on the bridge, Captain Gatch watched as a 500-pound bomb struck the South Dakota’s main gun turret. The explosion injured 50 men, including the skipper, and killed one. The ship’s armor was so thick, many of the crew were unaware they’d been hit. But word quickly spread that Gatch had been knocked unconscious. Quick-thinking quartermasters managed to save the captain’s life—his jugular vein had been severed, and the ligaments in his arms suffered permanent damage—but some onboard were aghast that he didn’t hit the deck when he saw the bomb coming. “I consider it beneath the dignity of a captain of an American battleship to flop for a Japanese bomb,” Gatch later said.
The ship’s young crew continued to fire at anything in the air, including American bombers that were low on fuel and trying to land on the Enterprise. The South Dakota was quickly getting a reputation for being wild-eyed and quick to shoot, and Navy pilots were warned not to fly anywhere near it. The South Dakota was fully repaired at Pearl Harbor, and Captain Gatch returned to his ship, wearing a sling and bandages. Seaman Graham quietly became a teenager, turning 13 on November 6, just as Japanese naval forces began shelling an American airfield on Guadalcanal Island. Steaming south with the Enterprise, Task Force 64, with the South Dakota and another battleship, the USS Washington, took four American destroyers on a night search for the enemy near Savo Island. There, on November 14, Japanese ships opened fire, sinking or heavily damaging the American destroyers in a four day engagement that became known as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
Later that evening the South Dakota encountered eight Japanese destroyers with deadly accurate 16-inch guns, the South Dakota set fire to three of them. “They never knew what sank ‘em,” Gatch would recall. One Japanese ship set its searchlights on the South Dakota, and the ship took 42 enemy hits, temporarily losing power. Graham was manning his gun when shrapnel tore through his jaw and mouth another hit knocked him down, and he fell through three stories of superstructure. Still, the 13 year-old made it to his feet, dazed and bleeding, and helped pull other crew members to safety while others were thrown by the force of the explosions, their bodies aflame, into the Pacific.
“I took belts off the dead and made tourniquets for the living and gave them cigarettes and encouraged them all night,” Graham later said. ”It was a long night. It aged me.” The shrapnel had knocked out his front teeth, and he had flash burns from the hot guns, but he was “fixed up with salve and a coupla stitches,” he recalled. “I didn’t do any complaining because half the ship was dead. It was a while before they worked on my mouth.” In fact, the ship had casualties of 38 men killed and 60 wounded.
Regaining power, and after afflicting heavy damage to the Japanese ships, the South Dakota rapidly disappeared in the smoke. Captain Gatch would later remark of his “green” men, “Not one of the ship’s company flinched from his post or showed the least disaffection.” With the Japanese Imperial Navy under the impression that it had sunk the South Dakota, the legend of Battleship X was born.
After the Japanese Imperial Navy falsely believed it had sunk the South Dakota in November, 1942, the American vessel became known as “Battleship X.” Photo: Wikimedia
In mid-December, the damaged ship returned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for major repairs, where Gatch and his crew were profiled for their heroic deeds in the Pacific. Calvin Graham received a Bronze Star for distinguishing himself in combat, as well as a Purple Heart for his injuries. But he couldn’t bask in glory with his fellow crewmen while their ship was being repaired. Graham’s mother, reportedly having recognized her son in newsreel footage, wrote the Navy, revealing the gunner’s true age.
Graham returned to Texas and was thrown in a brig at Corpus Christi, Texas, for almost three months.
Battleship X returned to the Pacific and continued to shoot Japanese planes out of the sky. Graham, meanwhile, managed to get a message out to his sister Pearl, who complained to the newspapers that the Navy was mistreating the “Baby Vet.” The Navy eventually ordered Graham’s release, but not before stripping him of his medals for lying about his age and revoking his disability benefits. He was simply tossed from jail with a suit and a few dollars in his pocket—and no honorable discharge.
Back in Houston, though, he was treated as a celebrity. Reporters were eager to write his story, and when the war film Bombadier premiered at a local theater, the film’s star, Pat O’Brien, invited Graham to the stage to be saluted by the audience. The attention quickly faded. At age 13, Graham tried to return to school, but he couldn’t keep pace with students his age and quickly dropped out. He married at age 14, became a father the following year, and found work as a welder in a Houston shipyard. Neither his job nor his marriage lasted long. At 17 years old and divorced, and with no service record, Graham was about to be drafted when he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He soon broke his back in a fall, for which he received a 20 percent service-connected disability. The only work he could find after that was selling magazine subscriptions.
When President Jimmy Carter was elected, in 1976, Graham began writing letters, hoping that Carter, “an old Navy man,” might be sympathetic. All Graham had wanted was an honorable discharge so he could get help with his medical and dental expenses. “I had already given up fighting” for the discharge, Graham said at the time. “But then they came along with this discharge program for deserters. I know they had their reasons for doing what they did, but I figure I damn sure deserved more than they did.”
In 1977, Texas Senators Lloyd Bentsen and John Tower introduced a bill to give Graham his discharge, and in 1978, Carter announced that it had been approved and that Graham’s medals would be restored, with the exception of the Purple Heart. Ten years later, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation approving disability benefits for Graham.
With the following words, Daniel Webster concluded his successful defense of the inviolability of the royal charter of Dartmouth College External , which was originally obtained on December 13, 1769:
It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!
Archivist’s Notes. Letter, Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer regarding the Dartmouth College Case. July 21, 1816. (Thomas Jefferson Papers). Manuscript Division
In his landmark Dartmouth College v. Woodward decision (1819), Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835) supported the inviolability of the charter as a contract and ruled that the college, under the charter, was a private and not a public entity. As such, the school was protected from the state’s regulatory power through the contract clause of the United States Constitution.
Dartmouth and Wentworth Halls, Dartmouth College. [Hanover, New Hampshire]. ca 1900. Detroit Publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division
The ninth oldest college in the United States, Dartmouth was founded when Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, a Congregationalist minister seeking to expand his school into a college, relocated his educational establishment from Connecticut to Hanover, in the royal Province of New Hampshire. Wheelock’s earlier school, the Moor’s Charity School, was primarily for the education of Native Americans. The Royal Governor John Wentworth provided the land Dartmouth was built on and conveyed the charter from King George III to establish the college. Wheelock’s charter was to create a college for the “education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in this Land…and also of English Youth and any others.”
The college was named in honor of William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth, a friend of Wentworth’s and an important benefactor. Salmon P. Chase and Robert Frost are among Dartmouth’s famous graduates.
Dartmouth’s first classes, consisting of just four students, were held in a single log hut in Hanover in 1770. As of 2018 there were approximately 4,400 undergraduates and 2,100 graduate students enrolled in the four-year, private, liberal arts college. The school has more than 40 undergraduate academic departments and programs in the arts and sciences. Dartmouth College is the home of one the nation’s oldest professional schools of engineering, the first graduate school of management, and one of the nation’s top medical schools.
At one time, it would have been, ‘Oh, you’re a Freemason – I’m a Free Gardener, he’s a Free Carpenter, he’s a Free Potter’ – Robert Cooper
For all of the tradesmen, having some sort of organisation was a way not only to make contacts, but also to pass on tricks of the trade – and to keep outsiders out.
But there was a significant difference between the tradesmen. Those who fished or gardened, for example, would usually stay put, working in the same community day in, day out.
Not so with stonemasons. Particularly with the rush to build more and more massive, intricate churches throughout Britain in the Middle Ages, they would be called to specific – often huge – projects, often far from home. They might labour there for months, even years. Thrown into that kind of situation, where you depended on strangers to have the same skills and to get along, how could you be sure everyone knew the trade and could be trusted? By forming an organisation. How could you prove that you were a member of that organisation when you turned up? By creating a code known by insiders only – like a handshake.
Edinburgh's Lodge of Journeyman Masons No. 8 was founded in 1578 this lodge was built for it on Blackfriars Street in 1870 (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)
Even if lodges existed earlier, though, the effort to organise the Freemason movement dates back to the late 1500s. A man named William Schaw was the Master of Works for King James VI of Scotland (later also James I of England), which meant he oversaw the construction and maintenance of the monarch’s castles, palaces and other properties. In other words, he oversaw Britain’s stonemasons. And, while they already had traditions, Schaw decided that they needed a more formalised structure – one with by-laws covering everything from how apprenticeships worked to the promise that they would “live charitably together as becomes sworn brethren”.
In 1598, he sent these statutes out to every Scottish lodge in existence. One of his rules? A notary be hired as each lodge’s clerk. Shortly after, lodges began to keep their first minutes.
“It’s because of William Schaw’s influence that things start to spread across the whole country. We can see connections between lodges in different parts of Scotland – talking to each other, communicating in different ways, travelling from one place to another,” Cooper said.
This oil painting at the Grand Lodge of Scotland shows Robert Burns’ inauguration at Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No. 2, which was founded in 1677 (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)
Scotland’s influence was soon overshadowed. With the founding of England’s Grand Lodge, the English edged out in front of the movement’s development. And in the centuries since, Freemasonry’s Scottish origins have been largely forgotten.
“The fact that England can claim the first move towards national organisation through grand lodges, and that this was copied subsequently by Ireland (c 1725) and Scotland (1736), has led to many English Masonic historians simply taking it for granted that Freemasonry originated in England, which it then gave to the rest of the world,” writes David Stevenson in his book The Origins of Freemasonry.
Hidden in plain sight on Brodie’s Close off of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Celtic Lodge of Edinburgh and Leith No. 291 was founded in 1821 (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)
Cooper agrees. “It is in some ways a bit bizarre when you think of the fact that we have written records, and therefore membership details, and all the plethora of stuff that goes with that, for almost 420 years of Scottish history,” he said. “For that to remain untouched as a source – a primary source – of history is really rather odd.”
One way in which most people associate Freemasonry and Scotland, meanwhile, is Rosslyn Chapel, the medieval church resplendent with carvings and sculptures that, in the wake of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, many guides have explained as Masonic. But the building’s links to Masonry are tenuous. Even a chapel handbook published in 1774 makes no mention of any Masonic connections.
Mary’s Chapel may only be open to fellow Freemasons, but its location is anything but a secret (Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)
Scotland’s true Masonic history, it turns out, is more hidden than the church that Dan Brown made famous. It’s just hidden in plain sight: in the Grand Lodge and museum that opens its doors to visitors in the archivist eager for more people to look at the organisation’s historical records and in the lodges themselves, tucked into corners and alleyways throughout Edinburgh and Scotland’s other cities.
Their doors may often be closed to non-members, but their addresses, and existence, are anything but secret.
This story is a part of BBC Britain – a series focused on exploring this extraordinary island, one story at a time. Readers outside of the UK can see every BBC Britain story by heading to the Britain homepage you also can see our latest stories by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United StatesLibrary of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-pga-03898
On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William Seward announced to the world that the United States had constitutionally abolished slavery — the 13th Amendment had been ratified.
The ratification of the 13th Amendment, the first of the Reconstruction Amendments, was truly the beginning of the end of one our nation's ugliest and saddest eras. Historically, however, it has always been overshadowed by President Abraham Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation."
While Lincoln's initial pronouncement to his Cabinet on September 22, 1862, formally tied slavery to the Civil War, he repeatedly stated that preserving the Union was his primary objective — not ending slavery.
In essence, Lincoln's proclamation — officially signed and issued on January 1, 1863 — freed only slaves in Confederate states where he and the Union Army could not force the issue, but allowed slavery to continue in states where the Union could impose its will.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a work of political irony. Lincoln understood slavery was wrong, but did not want to anger the border states that had remained supportive of the Union.
However, the Emancipation Proclamation served as a catalyst for abolitionists in Congress to start working in earnest to end slavery in every state.
The Proclamation of Emancipation written by President Abraham Lincoln (in office 1861-1865).
It began on December 14, 1863, when House Republican James Ashley of Ohio introduced an amendment to ban slavery throughout the United States. Later that month, James Wilson of Iowa introduced another amendment calling for an end to slavery.
Less than a month later, on January 11, 1864, Missouri Senator John Henderson, a member of the War Democrats — Democrats who supported the Civil War and opposed the Copperheads and Peace Democrats — submitted a joint resolution also wanting an amendment to end slavery.
Now, as civil war ravaged the nation, the legislative battle on Capitol Hill to end the injustice of slavery and treat African Americans as equal citizens was launched on two fronts — the House of Representatives and the US Senate.
On February 10, 1864, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed and brought the 13th Amendment to the full Senate. While in the House, one week after the Senate was moving ahead, Representatives took their first vote on the measure. The House vote well short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass, and it was clear the anti-slavery supporters in the House were in for a long struggle.
On the other hand, the Senate moved quickly. Senators wasted little time following the Judiciary Committee's recommendation for passage. On April 8, 1864, the amendment was overwhelmingly passed, 38-6, eight votes more than constitutionally required.
Four months after the first House vote, in June, 1864, the House tried for a second time to pass the amendment. The vote was closer, but again the abolitionists failed to get the two-thirds majority they needed for passage.
The year drew to a close with Lincoln's reelection. Yet the House had failed to produce a bill abolishing slavery. Lincoln's patience with the House was reaching its end. At the same time, abolitionists declared his reelection as a mandate from the people to end slavery. More pressure was brought to bear on the hold-outs in the House to pass the bill.
At last, on January 31, 1865, the House passed the 13th Amendment. Though not needed, as a symbolic gesture of approval, President Lincoln signed the document and then sent it to the states for ratification.
Initially, ratification seemed a given. By the end of March, 19 states had voted for the amendment. Then the process bogged down, and by April 14, 1865, the date President Lincoln was assassinated, only 21 states were on board.
Suddenly, Vice President Andrew Johnson, himself a War Democrat from Tennessee, was in the White House. Johnson was staunchly pro-Union, but he was less passionate about ending slavery. At this point the question was how much support would he provide toward speeding the end of slavery? Abolitionists were relieved when Johnson used his power as the Chief Executive to force Southern states to ratify the amendment as part of his Reconstruction policy.
On December 6, 1865, nearly twelve months after President Lincoln had ceremoniously signed the document, Georgia became the 27th state to ratify the 13th Amendment. The three-quarters of the states needed to make the amendment law had finally been reached, and shortly afterward Seward made his historic announcement.
13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery. The House Joint Resolution proposing the 13th amendment to the Constitution, January 31, 1865.
Sadly, life for Black Americans did not meet the promise of freedom. Southern states adopted "Black Codes" and "Jim Crow laws" — rules and restrictions that by-passed constitutional requirements — and continued to treat African Americans as second class citizens.
The tumult and grassroots uprising that eventually spawned such famous legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a subject all its own. Today, however, let us remember the tremendous stride that America took 145 years ago with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Together with the 14th Amendment that afforded African Americans citizenship, due process, and equal rights under the law and the 15th Amendment that gave African Americans the right to vote, a constitutional backbone was provided for what would become one of America's greatest revolutions — the Civil Rights Movement.
Watch the video "Emancipation Proclamation Legacy," from HISTORY and NMAAHC