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President Urges Special Ceremonies to Honor 100th Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation

Dec. 28, 1962 - President Kennedy today urged all sections of the nation to hold special ceremonies next year marking the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The President also called upon all citizens and public officials “to dedicate themselves to assuring that every American, regardless of his race, religion, color, or national origin, enjoys all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.” Mr. Kennedy noted that Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation document on Jan. 1, 1863. The President said Lincoln’s act “marked the beginning of the end of the iniquitous institution of slavery in the U.S.” and expressed a national policy “founded on justice and morality.” Lincoln’s proclamation declared that all slaves in the states then rebelling against the national government would be “thenceforward and forever free.”


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