This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
September 22 is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 100 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, shortly after Lincoln’s inauguration as America’s 16th president, he maintained that the war was about restoring the Union and not about slavery. He avoided issuing an anti-slavery proclamation immediately, despite the urgings of abolitionists and radical Republicans, as well as his personal belief that slavery was morally repugnant. Instead, Lincoln chose to move cautiously until he could gain wide support from the public for such a measure.
In July 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 slaves in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be free.
The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. The first one, issued September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. The second order, issued January 1, 1863, named ten specific states where it would apply. Lincoln issued the Executive Order by his authority as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy” under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution.
The proclamation did not name the slave-holding border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, or Delaware, which had never declared a secession, and so it did not free any slaves there. The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, so it also was not named and was exempted. Virginia was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties that were in the process of forming West Virginia, as well as seven other named counties and two cities. Also specifically exempted were New Orleans and thirteen named parishes of Louisiana, all of which were also already mostly under Federal control at the time of the Proclamation.
The Emancipation Proclamation was criticized at the time for freeing only the slaves over which the Union had no power. Although most slaves were not freed immediately, the Proclamation did free thousands of slaves the day it went into effect in parts of nine of the ten states to which it applied (Texas being the exception). In every Confederate state (except Tennessee and Texas), the Proclamation went into immediate effect in Union-occupied areas and at least 20,000 slaves were freed at once on January 1, 1863.
Additionally, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all four million slaves as the Union armies advanced, and committed the Union to ending slavery, which was a controversial decision even in the North. Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies advanced through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately 4 million, according to the 1860 census) were freed by July 1865.
Near the end of the war, abolitionists were concerned that while the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Several former slave states had already passed legislation prohibiting slavery; however, in a few states, slavery continued to be legal, and to exist, until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted.
480 BC – Battle of Salamis: The Greek fleet under Themistocles defeats the Persian fleet under Xerxes I.
66 – Emperor Nero creates the Legion I Italica.
1236 – The Lithuanians and Semigallians defeat the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in the Battle of Saule.
1499 – Treaty of Basel: Switzerland becomes an independent state.
1586 – Battle of Zutphen: Spanish victory over England and Dutch.
1598 – Ben Jonson is indicted for manslaughter.
1692 – Last people hanged for witchcraft in the United States.
1761 – George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz are crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain.
1776 – Nathan Hale is hanged for spying during American Revolution.
1784 – Russia establishes a colony at Kodiak, Alaska.
1789 – The office of United States Postmaster General is established.
1789 – Battle of Rymnik establishes Alexander Suvorov as a pre-eminent Russian military commander after his allied army defeat superior Ottoman Empire forces.
1792 – Primidi Vendemiaire of year 1 of the French Republican Calendar.
1823 – Joseph Smith, Jr. claims that he is directed by God through the Angel Moroni to the place where the Golden plates were buried.
1851 – The city of Des Moines, Iowa is incorporated as Fort Des Moines.
1862 – Slavery in the United States: a preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation is released.
1866 – Battle of Curupaity in the War of the Triple Alliance.
1869 – Richard Wagner’s opera Das Rheingold premieres in Munich.
1885 – Lord Randolph Churchill makes a speech in Ulster in opposition to Home Rule e.g. “Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right”.
1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published
1893 – The first American-made automobile, built by the Duryea Brothers, is displayed.
1896 – Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather King George III as the longest reigning monarch in British history.
1908 – The independence of Bulgaria is proclaimed.
1910 – The Duke of York’s Picture House opens in Brighton, now the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain.
1919 – The steel strike of 1919, led by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, begins in Pennsylvania before spreading across the United States.
1927 – Jack Dempsey loses the “Long Count” boxing match to Gene Tunney.
1934 – An explosion takes place at Gresford Colliery in Wales, leading to the deaths of 266 miners and rescuers.
1937 – Spanish Civil War: Pena Blanca is taken; the end of the Battle of El Mazuco.
1939 – Joint victory parade of Wehrmacht and Red Army in Brest-Litovsk at the end of the Invasion of Poland.
1941 – World War II: On Jewish New Year Day, the German SS murder 6,000 Jews in Vinnytsya, Ukraine. Those are the survivors of the previous killings that took place a few days earlier in which about 24,000 Jews were executed.
1944 – World War II: the Red Army enters Tallinn.
1951 – The first live sporting event seen coast-to-coast in the United States, a college football game between Duke and the University of Pittsburgh, is televised on NBC.
1955 – In the United Kingdom, the television channel ITV goes live for the first time.
1960 – The Sudanese Republic is renamed Mali after the withdrawal of Senegal from the Mali Federation.
1965 – The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 (also known as the Second Kashmir War) between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, ends after the UN calls for a cease-fire.
1970 – Tunku Abdul Rahman resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
1975 – Sara Jane Moore tries to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but is foiled by Oliver Sipple.
1979 – The Vela Incident (also known as the South Atlantic Flash) is observed near Bouvet Island, thought to be a nuclear weapons test.
1980 – Iraq invades Iran.
1985 – The Plaza Accord is signed in New York City.
1991 – The Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library.
1993 – A barge strikes a railroad bridge near Mobile, Alabama, causing the deadliest train wreck in Amtrak history. 47 passengers are killed.
1993 – A Transair Georgian Airlines Tu-154 is shot down by a missile in Sukhumi, Georgia.
1995 – An E-3B AWACS crashes outside Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska after multiple bird strikes to two of the four engines soon after takeoff; all 24 on board are killed.
1995 – Nagerkovil school bombing, is carried out by Sri Lankan Air Force in which at least 34 die, most of them ethnic Tamil school children.
2003 – David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon.
2006 – The F-14 Tomcat is retired from the United States Navy.
2013 – At least 75 people are killed in a suicide bombing at a church in Peshawar, Pakistan.