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Rocky Praises Dr. King at New York Dinner

Sept. 12, 1962 - At a dinner in New York marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Governor Nelson Rockefeller (pictured with Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson in July) said the nation was fortunate that Dr. Martin Luther King, “who symbolizes to his people the march toward full emancipation,” was an advocate of nonviolence and had maintained his faith “in the ultimate victory of human nobility over hatred.” He termed the struggle for equal rights “the great unfinished business before the American people.” The draft copy of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, in President Lincoln’s hand, was displayed at the dinner. The document, written on 4 sheets of lined legal-size paper, was donated by President Lincoln to a raffle in Albany in 1865 to raise funds for medical supplies for the Union army. It was purchased by New York State that year for $1,000. Issued on Sept. 22, 1862, the document warned the South that slaves would be freed 100 days later — on Jan. 1, 1863 — in areas still in rebellion. On that date, the Emancipation Proclamation — the original of which was destroyed in the great Chicago fire of Oct. 8, 1871 — was issued.


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