On September 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. In this document he stated that all people captive by slavery shall be set free on January 1, 1863. This sparked hope and perseverance for the thousands of lives affected by slavery. The proclamation also stated the acceptance of black men into the military to continue to fight for freedom. Many of these men, once liberated joined in the battle to set others free. These original pages of the Emancipation Proclamation can be seen at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Scans of the original can be found at the National Archives.
The spark of hope 157 years ago can be seen as we as a Nation continue to fight for freedom and equality of all people. Abraham Lincoln once said "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Although we may still be working toward freedom in parts of our lives today, what can you do at home, in your workplace, school or daily activities to spark this hope and show love to those around you?