National Freedom Day 2018

National Freedom Day commemorates the signing by Abraham Lincoln on February 1, 1865, of a resolution proposing the thirteenth amendment to the US Constitution to outlaw slavery in the United States. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Just one month later, in his second inaugural address, Lincoln quoted Jesus’s words from Matthew 18:7: “For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” In his address, Lincoln equated those offenses to American slavery—words bringing mixed emotions to his audience. They are now inscribed in stone at the Lincoln Memorial.

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