Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0111
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Full Text of SR0111  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, 150 years ago this week, Illinois became the first
3state in the union to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the
4United States Constitution; and
5    WHEREAS, The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in
6America, stating, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
7except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have
8been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or
9any place subject to their jurisdiction"; and
10    WHEREAS, Illinois' native son, President Abraham Lincoln,
11who in 1863 had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing
12all persons held as slaves in Confederate territory, exerted
13the full influence of his office to ensure Congressional
14passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and propel the train of
15freedom farther down history's long track; and
16    WHEREAS, On February 1, 1865, after receiving word that the
17United States House of Representatives had approved the
18Thirteenth Amendment, Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby
19informed the General Assembly of its passage and urged its
20immediate ratification on the grounds that doing so was "just"
21and "humane"; three and a half hours later, the amendment stood
22ratified by both chambers; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Thirteenth Amendment officially became the
2law of the land on December 18, 1865 after 27 states - 19 in the
3north and west, and 8 in the south - had ratified it; and
4    WHEREAS, Each February, the nation observes Black History
5Month, a time of teaching and learning about the black men and
6women who are an integral part of our nation's narrative and
7have made outstanding contributions to national life and the
8ongoing struggle for freedom, justice, and equality; and
9    WHEREAS, The addition of the Thirteenth Amendment to the
10United States Constitution marked a turning point in the
11history of American race relations; by no means the end of
12discrimination, injustice and oppression, which persists today
13and which we unequivocally oppose, but the beginning of a road
14that led through Jim Crow, Brown v. Board of Education, Selma,
15and to the nation's first black president and beyond;
16therefore, be it
18ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that February of 2015 shall
19be known as Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Month in
20recognition of the sesquicentennial of the Twenty-fourth
21Illinois General Assembly's history-making vote for abolition
22and the Thirteenth Amendment's vital place in the annals of



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1American history; and be it further
2    RESOLVED, That schools, civic organizations, and other
3institutions in the State of Illinois, as they observe Black
4History Month, are also encouraged to study the passage and
5ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the leaders who
6brought the State and nation to this historic moment, and the
7effects of ratification on Illinoisans and Americans of all