On “Freedom’s Eve,” or the eve of January 1, 1863, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect.
At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered, as all enslaved people in Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were Black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the South reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, spreading the news of freedom in Confederate States. Only through the Thirteenth Amendment did emancipation end slavery throughout the United States.
Since 1990 the US government has designated the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States.
Throughout recorded history, monuments, both grand and simple, help remember sacrifices made by humans in time of conflict and war. By studying these various commemorations, students can learn about the societies that built them and compare social values and responses to conflict.