About The Week
The ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was completed on December 6, 1865, by the legislative bodies representing 27 out of 36 states. It was this amendment that legally and constitutionally outlawed slavery…for all law abiding citizens…in America forever. It invalidated the 3/5th Clause, voided Article IV Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, ended slavery in Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey. It made it impossible for the slave trade to be reinstated. It also stopped the possibility of the institution of future white indentured servants, or of indentured servants of African, Asian, Native American, Chinese descent, etc.
The date of December 6, 1865 is a day and a time in history that not enough Americans understand or remember. Commemoration of this day in American history should be taught and perpetuated by all Americans- especially the descendants of ex-slaves. The majority of these descendants will see their true beginnings as free human beings, with great promise, at this critical time in the history of America.
December 6, 1865 should also be relevant for all Americans because it reflected the aspirations and foresight of the founding fathers of this great country. During the 1787 Continental Convention, these visionary men instituted the Northwestern Ordinance and vowed to end the slave trade. They later incorporated the end of the slave trade in the U.S. Constitution: Article 1, section 9, clause 1. The official end of slavery in the United States, the author believes, was just an inevitability of their honorable intentions.
With the ‘13th Amendment Freedom Week Celebration’, we have an opportunity to revisit this history, and acknowledge the great men and women who sacrificed their lives and fortunes for the high principles that all men should be free and that no man, woman, or child should be owned by another. This manual is an opportunity to review important documents of American history and to rediscover the tremendous impact that they had in shaping America’s past, present, and her inevitable future. Although many of the individual abolitionists and the institutions they established lived beyond the 19th Century, the individuals, the events, legislations, and documents cited in this manual, will conclude at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.
The ‘13th Amendment Freedom Week Celebration’ will commemorate the ratification of the 13th Amendment. It will start on the first Monday of the week in which the 6th of December falls, and will continue seven days. In case there is a conflict in time with other holidays or historical events the ‘13th Amendment Freedom Week’ should take place as close to the 6th of December as possible.
This ‘Freedom Week’ falls within the school year and this program is set up to have extraordinary educational benefits for school age children, beginning at pre-kindergarten and continuing through high school. This weeklong celebration will also have tremendous value for adults of all ages who take pride in the antislavery/freedom movement of America. This seven day span will be a constant reminder of the achievements of the great men and women who contributed to freedom. It will provide a foundation for the continuance of freedom, in America, through insight and knowledge of the forms of government, as well as the types of economic systems.