How long would slavery have persisted?

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, had there been no constitutional amendment, could have been reversed by Andrew Johnson or any other future president.

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A copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

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Thank goodness Juneteenth will be a national holiday! It’s important, though, to describe the historical significance of the day accurately. Otherwise, people might think President Abraham Lincoln ended slavery throughout the country with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Lincoln justified his executive order as a military necessity, freeing only those enslaved people in states that were in rebellion. Without the later ratification of the 13th Amendment, slavery could have continued much longer. Lincoln’s executive order, had there been no constitutional amendment, could have been reversed by Andrew Johnson or any other future president.

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How long would slavery have persisted had there been no Civil War and without ratification of the 13th Amendment? States that had been in rebellion were allowed back in the Union only if they agreed to abolish slavery. But how long would it have taken slave states to end the terrible institution on their own?

Our nation’s Founders sure made it difficult to fix their mistakes.

Happy Juneteenth!

Kevin Coughlin, Evanston

World’s worst job: Editing Trump

If you thought the most difficult job in the world was crab fishing off the coast of Alaska or extracting venom from deadly serpents, then consider this: Donald Trump is reportedly writing a memoir of his life in the White House.

Can you just imagine being a fact-checker on this? Going line by line to find anything that is truthful?

Bob Ory, Elgin

Rename Grant Park for DuSable

Instead of renaming Lake Shore Drive to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, why not rename Grant Park? The park is named for Ulysses Grant, who had no direct ties to the city. So why not, instead, honor DuSable, the first non-indigenous resident of the future City of Chicago, with something as lovely as a park in the heart of the city? 

The park is beautiful. It is visited each year by hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists. It is a place of culture and beauty and fun. We could install displays around the park telling the story of DuSable. In this beautiful setting, people could actually learn who DuSable was, as opposed to driving too fast on DuSable Drive to get home quicker. 

Shari Parker, Pullman

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