ALERT: Dome Restoration Project Necessitates Rotunda Closure April 12 through April 28.
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On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Designed to weaken the Confederacy, it declared that all persons enslaved in a state, or part of a state, then in rebellion against the United States were and would be forever free. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed by Congress and ratified by the states in 1865, abolished slavery in all the states.