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.
Today in History (1776) - The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with Great Britain. Two hundred years later, North and South Vietnam, divided since 1954, reunite to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.