January 1st

The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on this day. It
stated: “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by
virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief…do, on the
first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-three…publicly proclaim…that all persons held
as slaves…are, and henceforward shall be, free….And I hereby
enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all
violence…and…recommend…they labor faithfully for reasonable
wages.” Lincoln concluded: “And upon this act…I invoke…the
gracious favor of Almighty God.”

January 2nd

Today, January 2nd, is Betsy Ross Day. She was born a day earlier on
January 1, 1752 to a Quaker family in Philadelphia, the 8th of 17
children. She apprenticed as a seamstress, where she fell in love
with an upholsterer named John Ross, son of an Episcopal rector and
nephew of George Ross, who signed the Declaration of Independence.
As Quakers forbade interdenominational marriage, John and Betsy
eloped. They attended Christ’s Church and their pew was next to
George Washington’s. During the Revolution, John died when a
munitions depot he was guarding blew up. Shortly after General
Washington asked Betsy Ross to sew the American Flag.

”’William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to research America’s noble heritage. For more information, go to:”’ http://www.amerisearch.net ”’or send him an email at:”’ mailto:mail@amerisearch.net

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