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 (1808) - Importation of slaves into the United States is banned. Fifty five years later, Abraham Lincoln delivers the Emancipation Proclamation during the second year of the American Civil War.