- ›› Coverage Organizations : Confederacy
In the late fall of 1983, the US Congress passed a bill declaring the third Monday of January each year as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law on November 2, 1983, fifteen years after King’s assassination. Passage of this bill had not been easy, as some conservatives and southern members of Congress had issued strong objections to it. During the debate in the Senate, Senator Jesse Helms, Republican from North Carolina, delivered a speech declaring that although there was no evidence that King was a...
‘A house divided against itself can not stand’ I believe this government can not endure permanently, half slave, and half free . . . I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided . . . Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and put it in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the states, old, as well as new.
Glossary Term – Event
Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act, which extended the power of the Union military to free slaves in the Confederacy. The Union military granted freedom to blacks escaping to Union lines and enlisted them in ancillary positions.
Glossary Term – Person
Jefferson Davis graduated from West Point in 1828 and served in Iowa under Colonel Zachary Taylor. He left the Army in June 1835 to marry Taylor’s daughter Sarah (against her father’s wishes) and begin a career as a planter in Mississippi, though Sarah soon died of malaria. Davis entered the US House of Representatives in 1845 but resigned the following year to join a Mississippi volunteer regiment (of which he was elected colonel) in the Mexican-American War. In Mexico, Davis once again served under Taylor. He was wounded in the heel while...