Edies Cope,president of the Effingham County Branch NAACP, and Lucy Powell, a founding member of the Effingham Branch, announce that the annual celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation will take place Wednesday at noon at The Holy Ghost Christian Center, 137 Cherry Street, Guyton. The pastor is Overseer Sylvester M. Brown Jr.
Like many branches of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP) throughout the United States, the Effingham County Branch NAACP hosts Emancipation Proclamation commemorations on New Years' Day annually. Local Effingham County churches on a rotating basis host these events.
These Emancipation Proclamation commemorations take place on New Years' Day as a result of President Abraham Lincoln's having issued an executive order, the Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that, as of Jan.1, 1863, “all slaves in the rebellious states shall be henceforth, and forever free.”
This executive order, issued in the midst of the Civil War, basically served as an increased motivational force, proclaiming that the abolition of slavery was, in fact, one of the goals of the Union forces; Lincoln's executive order countered those who claimed abolition was not really a goal of the Union.
However, it was not until the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States' Constitution was ratified by three-quarters of the states on Dec. 18, 1865, that the abolition of slavery actually took place. In part, the Thirteenth Amendment stated “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ... shall exist in the United States.”