Today in History (1862) - The U.S. government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation. On the same day in 1865, the Confederate Congress voted to enlist 300,000 black troops, granting them freedom with the consent of their owners. Lee surrendered a few weeks later.
This Date in History (1992): Manuel Noriega is convicted on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. He will be eligible for parole in 2006. Also, happy birthday to songwriter/mathematician Tom Lehrer!