147 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Outlawed Slavery
Happy birthday, 13th Amendment! In honor of the anniversary, here’s a collection of excellent stories from The Atlantic’s archives.
- Where Will It End? (Dec. 1857): In The Atlantic’s second issue, Edmund Quincy urges readers to take a stand against slavery. “It is only the statement of the truism in moral and in political economy,” he wrote, “that true prosperity can never grow up from wrong and wickedness.”
- American Civilization (Apr. 1862): Ralph Waldo Emerson’s vehement argument for the federal emancipation of slaves. “Morality,” above all else, he asserted, “is the object of government.”
- The President’s Proclamation (Nov. 1862): Seven months later, Emerson hails Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as an act that would mean “the lives of our heroes have not been sacrificed in vain.”
- Reconstruction, and an Appeal to Impartial Suffrage (Dec. 1866): In the same month the 13th Amendment was adopted, Frederick Douglass pushed lawmakers to grant black Americans the vote: “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.”
- The Death of Slavery (Jul. 1866): William Cullen Bryant’s stirring poem about the demise of the “cruel reign” of slavery.
This is a very, very incomplete collection of stories from the era about slavery. (We were, after all, an abolitionist magazine.) For more, take a look at the commemorative Civil War issue we published last year.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons/National Archives]
A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.
One day after the Palestinians successfully upgraded their state at the United Nations General Assembly, the Israeli government announced “preliminary zoning and planning preparations” for a plot of land just outside of Jerusalem known as E1. Many were quick to condemn the move as a significant blow to the already-gridlocked peace process, perhaps even more so than other settlement construction announcements, since construction in E1 would separate the major Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon decried the plan as “an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution,” while The New York Times declared that “If such a project were to go beyond blueprints, it could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.”
[Image: S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace/SAYA/Is Peace Possible?]
Get ready to hot-foot it in Singapore
Thimithi (also Theemidhi or Theemithi) is a Hindu firewalking ritual carried out as a religious vow in which the faithful walk across white-hot coals in exchange for a wish or blessing from the goddess Draupadi.
More on Thimithi (Firewalking) by Somewhere in the world today…
Picture: Theemithi Fire Walking Festival by sensibles, on Flickr
“The United Nations is not just a meeting place for diplomats. The United Nations is a peacekeeper disarming fighters, a health worker distributing medicine, a relief team aiding refugees, a human rights expert helping deliver justice.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Russell Means Dies At 72
Russell C. Means, the charismatic Oglala Sioux activist who held guerrilla-tactic protests in the 1970s that called attention to the nation’s history of injustices against its indigenous peoples, died on Monday at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72.
In 1968, he joined the American Indian Movement and soon became one its prominent leaders.
Russell subsequently took part in an occupation of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington in 1972. But it was his leadership of an armed, 72-day standoff against federal authorities at Wounded Knee on Pine Ridge in 1973 that made him a national figure.
The siege at Wounded Knee, protesting what Means believed to be a corrupt tribal government and maltreatment of American Indians by federal authorities, left two demonstrators dead, a U.S. marshal paralyzed and numerous others injured.
Nearly 80 years earlier, Wounded Knee was the site of an 1890 massacre of scores of Lakota men, women and children by U.S. cavalry troops in what was the final major clash of the American Indian wars.
UN Headquarters in New York City has looked out on the East River for decades, and now it looks towards the newly-dedicated Four Freedoms Park honoring of the United States wartime President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a key figure in the formation of the United Nations.
UN News Centre story: At dedication of memorial, UN chief lauds Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s global vision
On the anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York opening to the public for the very first time (Oct. 21, 1959), LIFE pays tribute to the master architect who designed the museum: Frank Lloyd Wright.
LIFE magazine paid tribute to Wright and to his eye-popping 5th Avenue museum this way, in its Nov. 2, 1959, issue:
Last week, six months after he died, the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright came triumphantly to life again in New York City. The revolutionary art museum he designed for Solomon R. Guggenheim was finally opened to the public. While it was under construction, the museum was the constant butt of jokes. Its cylindrical exterior was likened to everything from a washing machine to a marshmallow.
The inside of the new Guggenheim Museum proved to be far more sensational than the outside. To the visitors who streamed through, it seemed like the inside of a giant snail shell … The museum was greeted with a barrage of praise and protest. Architects hailed the “fantastic structure,” museum directors complained of the slanting floors and walls. An art critic called it “America’s most beautiful building,” a newspaper labeled it a ‘joyous monstrosity.” Everyone agreed on one thing — the building was definitely dizzying. This physical reaction would have pleased Wright who predicted, “When it is finished and you go into it, you will feel the building. You will feel it as a curving wave that never breaks.”See more photos here on LIFE.com