Today in History: 13th Amendment Is Ratified

| December 6, 2016


On December 6, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s Fourth Annual Message to Congress was printed in the Congressional Globe, and the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Georgia, the last state necessary to move things forward; months after the end of the Civil War, this signifiant legislation served to abolish slavery, for it stipulated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865 after a series of debates in the Congress that began in March 1864.

Be sure to check out the web guide, 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, on the Library of Congress site. It includes the full text, debates, and other important digital resources on the abolition of slavery

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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  • Try a Supersearch on the Thirteenth Amendment and see what unveils!
  • Check out these jackdaws on slavery in the Curriculum Collection.


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Stay tuned for more special news displays in December!