No close family anniversaries. On this date in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863. Top photo: “First Reading of Emancipation Proclamation …” by Francis Bicknell Carpenter. For identification of the cabinet members depicted, see this Wikipedia article.
The proclamation was limited in scope; it freed only those slaves held in states that were still in rebellion, with several other constraints. Its symbolic power, however, was sweeping, inspiring, among other things, this untitled painting (c. 1863) by Henry Louis Stevens, depicting a black man reading a paper with headlines announcing the proclamation.