Daily Almanac for Sunday, January 1, 2023

On this date in 1863, The Emancipation Proclamation became law, marking the end of legalized slavery in the U.S. The Emancipation Proclamation document. By Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 – http www.wdl.org, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


The Emancipation Proclamation, officially Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. The Proclamation changed the legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the secessionist Confederate states from enslaved to free. As soon as slaves escaped the control of their enslavers, either by fleeing to Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, they were permanently free. In addition, the Proclamation allowed for former slaves to “be received into the armed service of the United States.”

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Its third paragraph reads:

That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation. After quoting from the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, it stated:

I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do … order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion, against the United States, the following, towit:

Lincoln then listed the ten states still in rebellion, excluding parts of states under Union control, and continued:

I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free…. [S]uch persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States…. And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God….

The proclamation provided that the executive branch, including the Army and Navy, “will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons”. Even though it excluded areas not in rebellion, it still applied to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million enslaved people in the country. Around 25,000 to 75,000 were immediately emancipated in those regions of the Confederacy where the US Army was already in place. It could not be enforced in the areas still in rebellion, but, as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for the liberation of more than three and a half million enslaved people in those regions by the end of the war. The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners and their sympathizers, who saw it as the beginning of a race war. It energized abolitionists, and undermined those Europeans who wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy. The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both free and enslaved; it led many to escape from their masters and flee toward Union lines to obtain their freedom and to join the Union Army. The Emancipation Proclamation became a historic document because it “would redefine the Civil War, turning it from a struggle to preserve the Union to one focused on ending slavery, and set a decisive course for how the nation would be reshaped after that historic conflict.”

The Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court. To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U.S., Lincoln also insisted that Reconstruction plans for Southern states require them to enact laws abolishing slavery (which occurred during the war in TennesseeArkansas, and Louisiana); Lincoln encouraged border states to adopt abolition (which occurred during the war in MarylandMissouri, and West Virginia) and pushed for passage of the 13th Amendment. The Senate passed the 13th Amendment by the necessary two-thirds vote on April 8, 1864; the House of Representatives did so on January 31, 1865; and the required three-fourths of the states ratified it on December 6, 1865. The amendment made slavery and involuntary servitude unconstitutional, “except as a punishment for crime.”

Abraham Lincoln. By Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


New Year’s Day

Happy New Year’s Day! January was named for the Roman god Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings.

Janus looks simultaneously to the future and the past, a fitting symbol for this first day of the year. It’s natural for us to reflect on the past year and also look forward to the new. The weather of the first 12 days of the year is said to be indicative of the following 12 months. Also, Janus was known as the protector of gates and doorways, bridges, and passageways, which also symbolize beginnings and ends.

Interesting, January was originally the 11th month, not the 1st, until at least 153 B.C. In Rome, this month was often a time of peace when the gates of the temple were closed. Only when the gates were open was Rome at war.

Janus am I; oldest of potentates!
Forward I look and backward.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Question of the Day

When did ancient cultures celebrate the new year?

* In ancient Egypt, the new year was celebrated when the star Sirius rose around the time of sunrise. This roughly coincided with the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile River.
* The original Roman calendar contained only ten months, with the new year starting on March 1.
* The ancient Celts celebrated the new year (Samhain) beginning at dusk on October 31.

Advice of the Day

The month of January is like a gentleman; as he begins, so he goes on.

Home Hint of the Day

Soak tarnished silverware in sour milk for half an hour. Then wash in soapy water to polish and brighten.

Word of the Day


Originally, a laborer on canals for internal navigation; hence, a laborer on other public works, as in building railroads, embankments, etc.

Puzzle of the Day

Why do birds fly south in the winter?

Because it is too far to walk.


  • Paul Revere (patriot) – 1735
  • Betsy Ross (patriot) – 1752
  • E.M. Forster (novelist) – 1879
  • J. Edgar Hoover (director of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation) – 1895
  • Hank Greenberg (baseball player) – 1911
  • J.D. Salinger (author) – 1919
  • Carole Landis (actress) – 1919
  • Terry Moore (actress) – 1932
  • Don Novello (actor) – 1943
  • Kathleen Casey-Kirschling (official first baby boomer in United States) – 1946
  • Nancy Lopez (golfer) – 1957


  • Johann Christian Bach (composer) – 1782
  • Maurice Chevalier – 1972
  • Ray Walston (actor) – 2001
  • Julia Phillips (first woman to win an Oscar Award [for co-producing the movie The Sting”]”) – 2002
  • Shirley Chisholm (an advocate for minority rights who became the first black woman elected to Congress) – 2005
  • Patti Page (singer) – 2013
  • Donna Douglas (actress) – 2015


  • First U.S. flag, The Grand Union, was displayed by George Washington; it became the unofficial national flag, preceding the 13-star, 13 stripe version– 1776
  • Legislative Union of Great Britain with Ireland under the name of United Kingdom became effective– 1801
  • President John Adams held the first New Year’s reception in the White House– 1801
  • Importation of enslaved people into the U.S. officially banned – 1808
  • First recorded ten-pin bowling match played at Knickerbocker Alleys, NYC– 1840
  • The Emancipation Proclamation became law, marking the end of legalized slavery in the U.S.– 1863
  • State of New York introduced the electric chair for capital punishment– 1889
  • The U.S. government opened an immigrant processing station at Ellis Island, New York– 1892
  • First Rose Bowl football game played at Pasadena, California– 1902
  • U.S. Parcel Post service began– 1913
  • The British battleship Formidable was sunk in the English Channel by a German submarine with the loss of 600 lives (WW I)– 1915
  • Fiorello La Guardia is inaugurated as mayor of New York– 1934
  • The U.S. Navy commissioned its first woman doctor, Mary Sproul– 1950
  • Kurt Waldheim inaugurated as Secretary General of the United Nations– 1972
  • John Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman, and John Mitchell were found guilty of obstructing justice in the Watergate Incident– 1975
  • Episcopal Church of the U.S. ordained its first woman priest– 1977
  • American Telephone & Telegraph Co. officially divested itself of 22 Bell System subsidiaries– 1984
  • First U.S. electronic highway toll collection, in Oklahoma– 1991
  • The Coney Island Polar Bear Club observed its 100th anniversary the same way it celebrated the previous 99—with a New Year’s Day plunge in the Atlantic Ocean– 2003
  • A strong earthquake rocked Mexico City and Acapulco– 2004
  • New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie converted the first successful drop kick in an NFL game since 1941– 2006
  • Twelve-year-old Aidan Murray Medley caught a 551-pound bull shark just north of Palm Beach Inlet, Florida– 2008


  • Twenty-four degrees below zero F in Northfield, Vermont– 1918
  • Bethlehem, New Hampshire, recorded a temperature of -20 degrees F– 1918
  • VanBuren, Maine, recorded a temperature of -32 degrees F– 1918
  • Six day Great Plains and N. Rockies blizzard began, most adverse conditions in history of west– 1949
  • Maybell, Colorado, set a record low temperature of -60 degrees F– 1979

COURTESY www.almanac.com