This Day in History

Jan. 1, 1863: Emancipation Proclamation

Time Periods: 1850
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Slavery and Resistance

The Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863.

Emancipation Proclamation. Source: National Archives

Who did it “emancipate”? And who gets credited?

As Rethinking Schools editor Bill Bigelow wrote for the Zinn Education Project “If We Knew Our History” column “Rethinkin’ Lincoln”:

With rare exceptions — like the American Social History Project/Center for Media & Learning, CUNY’s fine Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution — middle and high school textbooks fail to credit the real anti-slavery heroes in this story: the enslaved themselves, along with their Black and white abolitionist allies.

Continue reading “Rethinkin Lincoln” and find related lessons and other classroom resources below.