Emancipation Proclamation 150th Anniversary



Please join the City of Cambridge in celebrating the journey toward freedom as we commemorate the 150th Anniverary of the Emancipation Proclamation Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6-8 p.m., at Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber, 795 Massachusettts Ave.  Enjoy an evening of musical selections, historical exhibits, guest speakers, a commemorative stamp unveiling and a community reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. Light hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

On January 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed a document, the Emancipation Proclamation, that did much to change the course of the nation’s history. This signature piece of legislation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

22-CityView has produced a series of 10 short interviews featuring city residents who give their thoughts on the 150thAnniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the lasting impact of Lincoln’s decision. The interview subjects represent a cross-section of disciplines ranging from politics to community activism.

Link to individual interview video clips featuring:

Vice Mayor Denise Simmons, interview 1;
Gavin Kleespies, Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Society, interview 1;
Saundra Graham, Community Activist, interview 1;
Vice Mayor Denise Simmons interview 2;
Damon Smith, Vice Principal, CRLS, interview 1; 
Saundra Graham, interview 2
Bishop Brian Greene, Pentacostal Tabernacle Church;
Gavin Kleespies, interview 2; 
Damon Smith, interview 2;
Kimberly Sansoucy, Executive Director, Cambridge Women's Commission.

Emancipation Proclamation 150th Anniversary

On January 1, 2013, the United States will be observing the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. When the President issued this document on January 1, 1863, the country was in the midst of a bloody, grueling civil war that pitted North versus South, leaving open the question of whether or not the United States of America would survive as one nation by the war’s conclusion. The other open question, of course, was that if the nation did survive, what kind of society would we be left with? Would it continue to allow the abominable practice of slavery to continue, or would this blight upon the country’s soul be banished once and for all? With both these questions in mind, President Lincoln sought to not only preserve the union, but to fundamentally reshape it via the release of the Emancipation Proclamation. If the War Between the States were to end with the union intact, the President wanted to ensure that it would be a country in which slavery was unquestionably relegated to being a relic of the past.  

With the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the country took a decisive step toward abolishing slavery, paving the way for the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery across the land in 1865. In the 150 years since that time, this country has been taking the long, slow journey toward becoming a more equal, more just, more progressive society. The Emancipation Proclamation has long been recognized as one of the defining landmarks that has helped guide the United States closer towards the ideals it was founded upon, and therefore, communities across the nation are finding ways to commemorate the historic anniversary of the document’s release – and Cambridge is no exception.

Community Events Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation:
The Mountaintop January 10 - February 3, 2013 Presented by Underground Railway Theater.

forever free image

Helpful Liinks to Related Topics:

Emancipation Proclamation & Background Information

The original Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives

The Emancipation 2013 Project

National Archives to Display Original Emancipation Proclamation for 150th Anniversary

Historical Piece on Lincoln in Cambridge in 1848

Bio on Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cantabrigian and Radical Abolitionist 

PBS’s Abolitionist Map of America 

Longfellow House - Washington’s Headquarters has an online exhibit of Longfellow’s abolition work 

Harvard University’s Houghton Library has an online exhibit on Lincoln materials in their collection 

Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th Anniversary Forever Stamp

African American Heritage Trail 



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