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 (1787): Representatives of 12 colonies (Rhode Island refused to send any)
gathered at Pennsylvania State House to begin drafting the U.S. Constitution.
It was submitted for signing on September 17.