Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his I Have a Dream speech
Today, January 15, 2013, marks the 84th birth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968). Dr. King was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
“Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory. Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war.”
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