January 4, 1963
RFK PAYS TRIBUTE TO LINCOLN'S EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Attorney General of the United States, Robert F. Kennedy, paid tribute today to the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln a hundred years ago.
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
January 4, 1963
Justice Department Image
Mr. Kennedy, speaking at the dedication of the display of the original copy of the document at the National Archives, said:
"One hundred years ago today, in a nation torn by fraternal strife, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that all persons held as slaves..."henceforthword shall be free."
In the long course of American commitment to freedom & dignity of the individual, no single deed has done more than Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to redeem the pledge upon which this republic was founded--the pledge that all men are created equal.
Thus...one century later, we Americans...observe the placing of this historic document on exhibit in the nation's capital for all to see.
It is a moment to reflect on how far we have come...& to appraise the problems...that still stand between us & that goal."
The Attorney General concluded his remarks with a quote from his brother's inaugural address....
'(We are) unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed & to which we are committed today at home & around the world.'
"Remarks by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy at Opening of Exhibit on the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., January 4, 1963, Department of Justice."