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TUESDAY, JANUARY 1: EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATIONProfile America — Tuesday, January 1st. For Americans in 1863, this day was not one especially suited to a greeting of "Happy New Year." But in a nation riven by Civil War, President
Abraham Lincoln used the occasion of the new year to inject a moral component into the crisis by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. While this document was a half-measure, it buttressed the Union cause and led — at the war's end — to slavery's elimination. The 1860 Census found the U.S. population to number nearly 31.5 million. Just over 311,000, less then 1 percent were listed as free blacks. In today's all free population of over 308 million Americans, there are more than 39 million people of African heritage.
Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, History, Through the DecadesU.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB12-FF-01
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at
http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau