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tv   13th Amendment 150th Anniversary Ceremony  CSPAN  December 12, 2015 10:15am-11:31am EST

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joined congressional leaders in the u.s. capitol to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment's ratification. 1860 five,first, congress passed the amendment, formally abolishing slavery in the united states. it was ratified into summer six -- it was ratified on december 6 of that year. this program is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of the colors by the united states armed forces colorguard, the performance of our national anthem, and a retiring of our colors. ♪
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>> halt. present arms. [band plays "the star-spangled "]nner
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>> please remain standing as the chaplain of the united states house of representatives, the reverend patrick conboy, gives the invocation. let us pray.oy: lord god of mercy, we gather to remember an iconic moment in our history when millions of souls in america were declared to be slaveryn and women and was forever formally banned from by united states of america the adoption of the 13th amendment to the constitution. advance in our
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evolving sense of those freedoms we have come to believe define people.self-governing unfortunately, the badges and slavery for cure devices decades in intended to maintain a separate but equal, mythical world. the pains of racism, like a national genetic defect, played a still, though so many wish it were not so. us. have mercy on bless those who have been elected to secure laws protecting and expanding our cherished freedoms, that the wisdom and freedom to root out all traces of involuntary servitude in our nation, most notably in human trafficking in
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our own time, so that we can declare with pride we are the land of the free. bless us as we gather here today. help us to give honor to our ancestors, whose heroic political exploits set us on an ever-expanding course toward freedom for all people. and, dear god, bless america. >> please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, united states representative from the first district of north carolina and the chair of the congressional black caucus, the butterfield.. : onesentative butterfield behalf of the representatives of the black caucus, i would like
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to thanks pick or ryan and sponsoring this historic program today -- i would like to thank for sponsoring this historic program today. the ratification of the 13th amendment is arguably the most important way in african-american history and, indeed, american history. thank you, speaker paul ryan. thank you, president barack obama. the year was 1830. 2 million slaves resided in the united states. in addition, there were 200,000 free people of color who had obtained their freedom. many of them were engaged in .usiness some even had the audacity to attempt to teach slaves to read and write. free blacks were doing great
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things, but they ran into resistance from slaveholding states. in 1830 and 1831, many southern states, particularly my home state of north carolina, made it unlawful to teach a slave to read or write. they also made it unlawful for any free person of color or slave to preach in public or officiate as a preacher or teacher in any prayer meeting or other worship where slaves of different families were gathered. the punishment for committing either crime was a fine for .hites for free persons of color or slave offenders, the punishment was a sentence of 20 to 39 .ashes on the back the teaching of slaves and the preaching by free blacks was greatly impeded, but it did not .nd slavery continued.
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ladies and gentlemen, the congressional leaders are now prepared to present you with a historic narrative about the challenging task along the road to abolition. you will find a ratification timeline printed on the back of your program. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and children, the honorable richard durbin. the honorable jim scott. the honorable steny hoyer. the honorable steve scalise. the honorable ellen holmes norton. and the honorable me a love -- mia love. was 1860.r abraham lincoln was the republican nominee for president of the united states. while candidate lincoln did not call for the abolition of slavery, he firmly stated he was exposed to slavery's expansion into the territories. southern states where skeptical.
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they threatened to secede from the union if he was elected. lean forward to january 31, 1865. the 13th amendment passes the united states house of representatives. however, the constitution requires that three quarters of the states officially endorsed a proposed amendment before it becomes officially part of the constitution. in springfield, illinois, it was a matter of local pride. immediately after the amendment passed on the 31st day of richard ogles be of illinois was telegraphed with an urge to ensure that president lincoln's home state would be the first to ratify the historic puzzle. the next day at noon, governor ogles be forwarded the news to the state legislature along with the directive that the 13th amendment is just, it is humane, and should be approved now.
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by 4:30 on the afternoon of february 1, both state chambers in illinois had ratified the 13th amendment by large majorities. >> president lincoln was elected on november 6, 1860. 77 states seceded from the union prior to lincoln plus inauguration. for additional states seceded immediately following inauguration. a brutal civil war ensued that tore the nation apart, north against south. southern whites were opposed to abolition because they contended that slaves were their property and not subject to federal law.
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>> the civil war rages on from 1861 until the spring of 1865. when robert e lee surrenders the last major confederate army to ulysses s grant at the battle of appomattox courthouse in appomattox, virginia. the civil war was fought in thousands of different places from southern pennsylvania to texas, from new mexico to the lord a coast, and right here in our backyard just a few miles away in maryland. died ons thought and both sides of the battle line. nearly 620,000 soldiers, including nearly 40,000 free and runaway slaves, died from combat, accident, starvation,
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and disease during the war, which, to this day, marks the largest total number of deaths in all american conflicts. maryland, a slave state, was a border state, but its proximity and opposingl city viewpoints attempting to sway public opinion, maryland played a major role in the american the contradiction of slavery in a nation founded on freedom. on february 3, 1864, maryland becomes the north state to ratify the 13th amendment. >> the state of louisiana was the 16th state to ratify the
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13th amendment. on february 17, 1865. however, prior to that time, the civil war was already shaping the kind of country our nation would become, creating a declaration that affirmed all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. of civil war started because deeply ingrained and uncompromising differences between the free and slaveholding states, pitting brother against brother, father against father and son against national the power of
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government to present it slavery. at the wars and, after the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, the long and difficult process of rebuilding our country would begin. >> while the district of , andbia was not a state still is not the state it strives to be and therefore was not involved in the ratification process, the district has its own story of abolition. during the civil war, president southernncouraged states to abolish slavery and offered monetary reimbursements to slaveholders if they complied. none agreed.
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war,g the civil , a vocaletts' senator abolitionist, asked president lincoln "do you know who is, at this moment, the largest slaveholder in the united states?" lincoln that he was the largest slaveholder, because the president "holds all of the slaves of the district of columbia." 1861, massachusetts senator henry wilson introduced a bill to end slavery in the district of columbia. oppositionsiderable
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from slaveholding congressman, the bill passed. president lincoln sign the 16, 1862,n on april almost a year before the emancipation proclamation, thus ending slavery in the district of columbia. >> utah with c 30 years following the ratification of the 13th amendment and the slobbery -- and the abolishment of slavery before it would become a state. considered not widespread among the pioneers, withome did ring slaves them during the expansion to the west. in july, 1862, congress
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abolished slavery in the territories. a few months later, president lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation, warning the rebellious states that if they did not return to the union in 100 days, by january 1, 1863, he would, as commander in chief, a man spade the slaves in the rebelling states. he states did not return to the union and refused to free the slaves. lincoln pronounced "my paramount objective and the struggle to save the union is not either to save or destroy slavery. if i could save the union without freeing any slaves, i would do it. if i could save it by freeing all of the slaves, i would do it. if i could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, i would also do that.
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what i do about slavery and the colored race, i do because it would help save the union." forbear, i do not believe it would help save the union." way ofs the president's softening the blow of military emancipation. he was preparing the public for what he knew was sure to come. ladies and gentlemen, professor and chair of the department of music at the university of north carolina at .hapel hill
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♪ >> ♪ oh freedom freedom oh freedom and before i be asleep graveuried in my and call home to my lord and be free no more weeping no more weeping
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no weeping o'er me and before i'd be a slave i'll be buried in my grave home to my lord and be free oh freedom freedom oh freedom meeedom o'er and before i be a slave
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i'd be buried in my grave be go home to my lord and free freedom ♪ [applause] gentlemen, the
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honorable john cornyn, the honorable alma adams, the honorable cory booker, the heard, and the honorable stan bishop. 1, 1863, president abraham lincoln issued the final emancipation proclamation. persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be within rebellion against the united states, shall then be henceforth and forever free." an executive government of the united states, including the military and naval authority willlove -- thereof recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress
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such persons or any of them in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom." the proclamation, by its terms, border states,o which were not in rebellion against the united states. it only applied to the states in rebellion. abolished slavery on june 19, 1865, when a union general arrived on galveston island with troops. they would enforce the 2-year-old emancipation proclamation by his general order number three, which reads texas -- the people of texas are informed that all slaves are free." absolutelves an
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equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves. heretoforenection existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer. the freed men are advised to remain quietly at the present homes and work for wages. toy will not be allowed collect at military posts and they will not be supported in idleness, either there or elsewhere." >> despite his defense of the emancipation population as a military measure, president lincoln had lingering doubt of its constitutionality. while he felt the courts would sustain as a war measure, he questioned its force once peace
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was restored. we already know the slaveholding states argued that lincoln did not have the authority over their state because of secession. the states even contended that slaves could not be freed under international law. lincoln retorted that the rebellious southern states continue to exist under the authority of the united states constitution, thereby granting authority to him as commander in chief to act. the process of enforcement began throughout the land. after house passage of the 13th amendment, the north carolina general assembly you voted for ratification on december 4, it 1865. the state was readmitted to the union in 1868. >> slavery was abolished in new jersey in 1846.
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however, the law came with obtuse definitions. they could be considered a gradual abolition of slavery at best. the rod or redefined slaves as "apprentices to their masters for life." in new jersey, slavery would officially end in december of 1865. meanwhile, the presidential election of 1864 was very eventful. president lincoln was reelected, even though the emancipation proclamation was having its affect in the confederacy, lincoln feared some blacks might remain in bondage after the war's end. for greaterng guarantee. a constitutional amendment was needed to legally abolished slavery in all of america. the 13th minute was introduced
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prior to the 1864 election. on april 8, 1864, the senate passed it by a vote of 36-8. on june 15, 1864, the house of representatives defeated the vote of 93 in favor, 65 opposed, and 23 not voting. the amendment came up 13 votes short of the two thirds required to pass a constitutional .mendment despite president lincoln's encouragement and efforts, the amendment failed to pass the house. with no southern states represented, a few members of congress pushed moral and religious arguments in favor of slavery.
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democrats who oppose the amendment made arguments based on federalism and states rights. the change sohat change the spirit of the constitution and would constitute revolution. some opponents warned it would lead to full citizenship for blacks. president lincoln became more aggressive. hiss address -- at address, he encourage congress to listen to the amendment again. upon its second introduction, he used his full powers in office to pass the amendment. he argued the necessity of this. we heard earlier about the generals --
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19, juneteenth is the name given to celebrate emancipation proclamation day. large celebrations begin in 1866 in texas and continue today. >> on january 31, 1865, the amendment passed the house of representatives by a vote of 119-56. and was submitted to the states for ratification by at least three fourths of the states. the operative clause of the moment consisted of one sentence. "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party will have been duly
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convicted, shall exist within the united states, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." passage of the amendment, and ohio newspaper theorted the following -- " quick proceeded to read the names." the result of the vote was noted on a piece of paper and handed to this bigger, who announced the passage of the joint resolution by a vote of 119 days nays.9 yaes against 56 there oppose rose a stout applause. -- there rose a stout applause. the ladies waved their handkerchiefs and again and
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again, the applause was repeated. excited, andwas the friends of the measure were jubilant. roughly 10 months later, the state of south carolina ratified the 13th amendment on november 13, 1865. >> in review, by february of 1865, the states of illinois, rhode island, michigan, ,aryland, new york pennsylvania, west virginia, kansas,, maine, massachusetts, virginia, ohio, indiana, nevada, louisiana, minnesota, and wisconsin had
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ratified the 13th amendment. in march.ified tennessee and arkansas in april, followed by connecticut in may. new hampshire in july. south carolina in november. alabama and north carolina ratified at the start of december. on december 6, 1865, my home state of georgia became the 27th state to ratify and thusamendment provided the requisite number of states for ratification. becameh amendment effective the moment that the georgia legislature ratified it. slavery in the night states of america is legally abolished.
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hallelujah. [applause] nearly 4 million slaves are free. to god be the glory. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, dr. lo uise toppin. ♪ singlive the rewards and
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ring with the harmonies of libert y that is resounded along as the rolling seas sing a song full o fthe faith that the dark past has taught us the hopeng full of that the present has brought us facing the rising sun of our new day begun victory ish on till
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won road we trod bitter the chastening rod felt in the days when hope unborn had died yet with a steady beat have not our weary feet come to the place for which our fathers sighed we have a come over a way that with tears has been watered we have come treading the path through the blood of the slaughtered
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out from the gloomy past lastnowe we stand at where the white gleam of our castt star is years our weary god of our silent tears thou who hast brought us thus far on the way thy mightas by led us into the light path, weorever in the
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pray lest our feet stray from the places our god where we met thee lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee thy handbeneath stand forever true to our god land ♪ our native
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[applause] and ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the honorable nancy pelosi. [applause] pelosi: good morning. today, we gather to observe that one hundred 50 years ago, our nation took a giant step towards honoring the ideals at the heart of our democracy. at long last, we stopped poisoning the soul of our country with the atrocity of
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slavery. at long last, we broke the shackles that debased the american dream of justice and equality. we have marked many milestone anniversaries in this year. 150 years of the 13 amendment. 50 years since the selma march and the passage of the voting rights act. with each, we celebrate the triumph of dignity, determination, and courage that are the prize of america. read dedicate to the march toward justice that is the heritage and hope of our democracy. commemoration, we are surrounded by memories of that continuing march. our very proud of initiative to have more statues
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of women and peoples of caller racing the house of our congress. people such as rosa parks, helen keller, said cherner truce -- sojourner truth. unveiled the bust of sojourner truth. then we were honored with the presence of the new first lady michelle obama. she said that day that "i hope th would bener tru proud to see me, a descendent of slaves, see me serving as first lady of the united states of america." [applause] pelosi: 150 years after the ratification of the 13th amendment, 50 years after the voting rights act, sojourner truth would be proud of our congressional black conference,
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the conscience of the congress. [applause] pelosi: she also would be proud, as we are, that this in the presence of president barack obama. god has truly blessed america. thank you. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the united states house of representatives, the honorable kevin mccarthy. mccarthy: the words of our founders are unmistakable. "all people are and dad by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." -- decades,s
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african americans were forced to live in this country as if those .ords did not apply to everyone the ratification of the 13th amendment was the most significant act in our history since our founding. it stands as a marker where america decided it would strive to live out the universal ideals of our nation instead of accepting the wrongs of our past. our country stood up and demand it that slavery should exist no more. hundreds of thousands died to allow this amendment to pass. generations and that followed, more fought to ensure that african-americans would be treated with the same respect and guaranteed the same rights as everyone in this country. ,oday, we will join together remembering this great moment of
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freedom. may we all emulate the courage of those in the past and continue to fight for the dignity and right to make this a more perfect union. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the united states senate, the honorable harry reid. [applause] sen. reid: frederick douglass judged by are not the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed." 150 years ago, our nation resolved to climb out of the deepest, darkest chapter in american history -- the institution of slavery. the ratification of the 13th
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amendment marked a turning point. a turning point reached through the english of civil war and preceded by the tireless efforts of men and women determined to rid our nation from the scourge of slavery. slavery was a heartless institution where humans were treated as property. sold and traded for commercial gain, without concern for the loss of family. husband, wife, son beginning sold down the river. that is where that expression comes from. river.wn the how often do we stop and think about what it means? we should. from the depths of slavery rose a host of men and women who were determined to fight for their freedom. for me, there is no data representation of the determination and courage exhibit five by a tiny little woman born harriet tubman. tubmanslave, harriet
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resolved to escape north in pursuit of freedom. she always carried the scars of slavery. she was struck in the head by a 12 pound iron as a slave. it was thrown by another slave, but it hit her in the head. she suffered the rest of her life debilitating headaches and, on occasion, seizures. escaped ine finally 1849, she returned to the south to rescue her family, and soon began returning with others. made10 years, this women 19 trips into the south from the north and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. she was a tough woman. ubman was leading a group of intos to freedom and ran people they did not want to see
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them. they had to hide in a thicket for several days. two slaves she was bringing to freedom had enough and said they were going back. harriet tubman, you see, carried a pistol everywhere she went. when the slaves threaten to leave, risking her freedom and the past, she held the pistol to the two men and said "you go on or you die." they decided to stay. she was.ho she was patient, courageous, grave -- brave, and very tough. must embody the strength and tenacity with which harriet tubman pursued freedom. we can never give up as the work of perfecting our union requires persistence. raiseday, we must work to
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our nation from the depths of to thekest chapters higher expressions of our values. the truest american values of freedom, justice, and equality -- exemplified by harriet tubman -- have prevailed. are thehose values guiding light in fights for higher wages, better education, criminal justice reform, and many other causes. if we are to continue rising from our history, we must believe what harriet tubman believed. "within us, each of us, lies the strength, patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world." as long as we continue our work of protecting our union, we must embrace the words of president barack obama, who said and reminded us that "we are the change that we seek." the progress our nation has made the last 150 years should serve
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america,nder that in freedom, justice, and equality will always win. we must reach for new heights today and pledge that our nation will live out the true meaning of its creed -- liberty and justice for all. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the united states senate, the honorable mitch mcconnell. a januarynell: it was afternoon. the air was frozen in apprehension. it was love and with anticipation. hope and fear danced together that day, intermingling as they sometimes do that such important
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moments in our history. but only briefly. from a presiding officer came the news. ayes, 119. nays, 56. minds process the calculation silently. in one instant, nervous calm, in the next, a furious -- upro arious cheer. it was the 2/3 that was needed. here is how the moment was when the house speaker announced the results. moment of silence succeeded, and then from the floor and the galleries first a simultaneous ,hout of joy and triumph
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spontaneous, irrepressible, and uncontrollable, swelling and prolonged in one vast volume of reverberating thunder. on the floor, members wept and hugged. in the galleries, the thunder that was described, joyous and hopeful, rumbled on. the onlookers, who because colored of their skin had been denied access to that very gallery until just the year before, were now celebrating congressional passage of the 13th amendment. from there, history. president lincoln would soon add his signature, even though the president plays no formal role in the ratification process. few short months, the amendment would be ratified.
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of labor -- years of slavery would be legally abolished. millions of slaves would win their freedom and our country on a new path, wounded but hopeful. scarred, but capable. always striving, always believing, looking to the future. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable paul ryan. speaker ryan: the thirteenth amendment is just 43 words long. it is so short that, when you read it, you can almost miss its whole significance. you have to stop and remind
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yourself -- 600,000 people died in the civil war. 600,000 died over 43 words. or to be more precise, they died in a war that decided whether those 43 words would ever be written. and not everyone supported the thirteenth amendment. there was fierce opposition. but i think it is telling that when the state of maryland held a referendum to abolish slavery, it was the votes of union soldiers that put it over the top. it was the men who had been in the field and heard the battle cries and seen the heroic deeds. they knew, better than most, that everyone in the field was an american. a private in the 89th illinois put it best. he wrote, "i have often heard of men say that they would not
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fight beside a negro soldier, but the whites and blacks charged together, and they fell just as well as we did. i have seen great many fighting for our country. then why should they not be free?" it took a war to answer that question. we should be honest with ourselves. it took centuries of cruelty and injustice. but today, we celebrate the moment when our country decided -- yes, they should be free. they would be free. and we thought this decision was so important that for the first time in half a century, we amended the constitution. from then on, it would be the supreme law of the land. and so today, we celebrate this
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43-word amendment, this "new birth of freedom." "it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this." and we should remember all that it took -- the historic battles, the great generals, yes. but also the men in the ranks, the names we have forgotten, especially the men who had once been enslaved. men like william h. carney and andrew jackson smith. these men, these men were segregated. they were mistreated. and yet, they still fought. they fought for a country that had denied them their freedom. they fought for all of us. and so, when we read those 43 short and simple words, we should remember these men and what they did. we should realize those words,
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like their acts, are gallant, they were noble, profound. we have witnessed true greatness in this country. and when we ratified the thirteenth amendment, we committed ourselves to building a country just as great. that is what those 43 words mean. this is what they represent. and that is more than worthy of celebration. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america. [applause]
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pres. obama : thank you. thank you so much. please have a seat. thank you. "in giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free." that's what president lincoln once wrote. "honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. we shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth." mr. speaker, leaders and members of both parties, distinguished guests, we gather here to commemorate a century and a half
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of freedom -- not simply for former slaves, but for all of us. today, the issue of chattel slavery seems so simple, so obvious. it is wrong in every sense. stealing men, women, and children from their homelands, tearing husbands from wife, parent from child, stripped and sold to the highest bidder. shackled in chains and bloodied with the whip. it's antithetical not only to our conception of human rights and dignity, but to our conception of ourselves -- a people founded on the premise that all are created equal.
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and, to many at the time, that judgment was clear as well. preachers, black and white, railed against this moral outrage from the pulpit. former slaves rattled the conscience of americans in books, in pamphlets, and speeches. men and women organized anti-slavery conventions and fundraising drives. farmers and shopkeepers opened their barns, their homes, their cellars as waystations on an underground railroad, where african-americans often risked their own freedom to ensure the freedom of others. and enslaved americans, with no rights of their own, they ran north and kept the flame of freedom burning, passing it from one generation to the next, with
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their faith, and their dignity, and their song. the reformers' passion only drove the protectors of the status quo to dig in harder. and for decades, america wrestled with the issue of slavery in a way that we have with no other, before or since. it shaped our politics, and it nearly tore us asunder. tensions ran so high, so personal that at one point, a lawmaker was beaten unconscious on the senate floor. eventually, war broke out. brother against brother, north against south. at its heart, the question of slavery was never simply about civil rights. it was about the meaning of
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america. the kind of country we wanted to be. whether this nation might fulfill the call of its birth. "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights," that among those are life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. president lincoln understood that if we were ever to fully realize that founding promise, it meant not just signing an emancipation proclamation, not just winning a war. it meant making the most powerful collective statement we can in our democracy. etching our values into our constitution.
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he called it "a king's cure for all the evils." 150 years proved the cure to be necessary but not sufficient. progress proved halting, too often deferred. newly freed slaves may have been liberated by the letter of the law, but their daily lives told another tale. they couldn't vote. they couldn't fill most occupations. they couldn't protect themselves or their families from indignity or from violence. and so abolitionists and freedmen and women and radical republicans kept cajoling and kept rabble-rousing. and within a few years of the war's end at appomattox, we passed two more amendments, guaranteeing voting rights,
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birthright citizenship, equal protection under the law. and still, it wasn't enough. for another century, we saw segregation and jim crow make a mockery of these amendments. and we saw justice turn a blind eye to mobs with nooses slung over trees. we saw bullets and bombs terrorize generations. and yet, through all this, the call to freedom survived. "we hold these truths to be self-evident." and eventually, a new generation rose up to march and organize, and to stand up and to sit in , with the moral force of nonviolence and the sweet sound of those same freedom songs that slaves had sung so long ago,
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crying out not for special treatment, but for equal rights. calling out for basic justice promised to them almost a century before. like their abolitionist predecessors, they were plain, humble, ordinary people, armed with little but faith. faith in the almighty. faith in each other. and faith in america. hope in the face, so often of all evidence to the contrary, that something better lay around the bend. because of them -- maids and
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porters and students and farmers and priests and housewives -- because of them, a civil rights law was passed, and the voting rights law was signed. and doors of opportunity swung open, not just for the black porter, but also for the white chambermaid and the immigrant dishwasher, so that their daughters and their sons might finally imagine a life for themselves beyond washing somebody else's laundry or shining somebody else's shoes. freedom for you and for me. freedom for all of us. and that's what we celebrate today. the long arc of progress.
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progress that is never assured, never guaranteed, but always possible, always there to be earned, no matter how stuck we might seem sometimes. no matter how divided or despairing we may appear. no matter what ugliness may bubble up. progress, so long as we're willing to push for it. so long as we're willing to reach for each other. we would do a disservice to those warriors of justice -- tubman, and douglass, and lincoln, and king -- were we to deny that the scars of our nation's original sin are still with us today. [applause]
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pres. obama: we condemn ourselves to shackles once more if we fail to answer those who wonder if they're truly equals in their communities, or in their justice systems, or in a job interview. we betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms. [applause] pres. obama: but we betray our most noble past as well if we were to deny the possibility of movement, the possibility of
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progress. if we were to let cynicism consume us and fear overwhelm us. if we lost hope. for however slow, however incomplete, however harshly, loudly, rudely challenged at each point along our journey, in america, we can create the change that we seek. [applause] pres. obama: all it requires is that our generation be willing to do what those who came before us have done. to rise above the cynicism and rise above the fear, to hold
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fast to our values, to see ourselves in each other, to cherish dignity and opportunity , not just for our own children but for somebody else's child. [applause] pres. obama: to remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like or where they come from or what their last name is or what faith they practice. [applause] pres. obama: to be honorable -- [applause] pres. obama: to be honorable
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alike in what we give, and what we preserve. to nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. to nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. that is our choice. today, we affirm hope. thank you. god bless you. may god bless the united states of america. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand as the chaplain of the united states senate, dr. barry black, gives the benediction. dr. black: let us pray. years, andweary tears, the only source of true freedom. we thank you for this opportunity to commemorate the ratification of the 13th abolished thech peculiar institution of slavery and helped to give america a new
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.irth of freedom may our commemoration of this transformational amendment make us more vigilant in this time of to protect the freedoms of all human beings, gender,ss of race, eed, language, or religion. made commemorating this sconce -- madeachievement commemorating this constitutional achievement reaffirm that every human being heir to a legacy of dignity and freedom.
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generation, keep as feet on the right path you use us to ensure that justice will roll down like righteousness like a mighty stream. pray this prayer in the name of him who came to set us free. amen. >> amen. [applause] please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats for the departure of the official party. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] every weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, 48 hours
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of programs and events that tell our nation's story. at 2:00 eastern, historians and authors on the life of stokely carmichael, and organizer for the all african revolutionary party. joined by charles in ankely called the sit apprenticeship in struggle. he is right about that. no matter where you come out five years later. embraces pan african socialism. other people embrace the democratic party. >> then at 8:00, towns and university history professor elizabeth gray on the use of opium in the 19th century and public opinion of its use by men and women. >> the attitude towards women drinking at the time was that
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this was inappropriate. that a woman should not drink. why would lot in them be something she could look to as an alternative? >> sunday morning at 10:00, we look back to the 2000 campaign of al gore as heat -- he tours the state of new hampshire. >> yet seen new hampshire change from a time you are losing 10,000 jobs a year to a time now where you are gaining 10,000 jobs a year. that is partly because we have .ad fiscal responsibility president clinton and i put together an economic plan that has balanced the budget and turned the biggest deficit into the biggest surplus. >> algor won the democratic nomination but lost the general election to president bush in one of america's most highly contested elections.
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>> c-span takes you onto the road to the white house and into the classroom. this year, our student cam documentary contest asks students to tell us what issues they want to hear from the presidential candidates. road to then's white house coverage and get all the details about our student cam contest at >> each week, american history tvs american artifacts visits museums and historic places. up next, we visit the library of congress on capitol hill to learn about an exhibittvs amerig the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act of 1964. >> good morning, i am the african-american history specialist for the manuscript division of the library of congress and one of the curators for the library exhibi


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