December 2, 1865
Alabama ratified the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on this day in 1865. The amendment abolished slavery. The state’s ratification was followed by that of North Carolina and then Georgia, reaching the three-fourths threshold of states (27 of 36) required for approval and certification of the amendment. As a result, U.S. slaves were legally freed within two weeks. It was the first of three Reconstruction-era amendments following the Civil War.
Read more at Wikipedia.
Portrait of James Mitchell Ashley, U.S. House of Representatives, who proposed an amendment abolishing slavery in 1863. This photograph was taken c. 1860-1865. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Wikipedia)
Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, bearing the signature of Abraham Lincoln. (National Archives and Records Administration; Wikipedia)
Harper’s Weekly illustration depicting celebration in the House of Representatives after adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. (Printed in Harper’s Weekly on Feb. 18, 1865; Wikipedia)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.