Sunday, September 22, 2013


September 22, 2013


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Abraham Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation 151 years ago today, September 22, 1862. 

The executive order, which declared  "all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward, shall be free," came 5 days following the Battle of Antietam.

The Emancipation applied only to states that had left the Union as well as parts of the Confederacy that had come under the control of the Union army.

The proclamation was to take effect on January 1, 1863.

Frederick Douglass described the moment when the words of the Emancipation came over the telegraph wires:

"The scene was wild and grand. Joy and gladness exhausted all forms of expression, from shouts of praise to joy and tears."

The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation provided that if the South did not end the war and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in the Confederacy would be free.  

The 2nd Executive Order specified the states to which the order applied.

           President Obama Displays a Copy
         of the Emancipation Proclamation*
                          in the Oval Office
                          January 18, 2010
                      Photo by Pete Souza

*The copy was on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy video taped a message for the opening of the United Community Campaigns of America 50 years ago today, September 22, 1963.

The message, which was delivered in the Cabinet Room in the West Wing of the White House, was broadcast over major radio and TV networks at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

The President said...

"This country has a strong tradition of individual self-reliance, but we also recognize that there are people who through no fault of their own, need our help. 

"I hope this year, therefore, that you will join in this great national effort, this great national crusade through the United Way and give." 


New York City (JFK+50) 21 year old Nathan Hale, a school teacher by day and a spy for General George Washington at night, was executed 237 years ago today, September 22, 1776, after being captured by the British on Long Island.

Hale, a graduate of Yale University, was charged with espionage but was not given the benefit of a trial.

He was asked, however, before his execution if he had any final words:

Nathan Hale said:

"I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country." 

In 1985, Nathan Hale was officially designated as the "State Hero" of Connecticut.

                       Nathan Hale Statue
                         Fort Nathan Hale
                 New Haven, Connecticut
                 Photo by 2112guy (2007)


San Francisco, California (JFK+50) After having avoided an assassination attempt in Sacramento just 17 days earlier, President Gerald R. Ford narowly avoided another one 38 years ago today, September 22, 1975, here in San Francisco.

As the President was leaving the St. Francis Hotel and about to enter his car,  Sarah Jane Moore* fired a shot at him as she stood 40 ft. away across the street.

Oliver Sipple, a former Marine standing near her, grabbed her arm before she could her 38 revolver a second time.

Secret Service agents reacted quickly and spirited the President into his car and out of harm's way.

*Sarah Jane Moore was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on Feb. 15, 1930.  Sentenced to life imprisonment for the attempted assassination of President Ford, she was released on Dec. 31, 2007 after serving 32 years.

               Attempted Assassination
                      of President Ford
               San Francisco, California
          Gerald R. Ford Library Photo