Emancipation Proclamation anniversary

History was made 150 years ago this week as Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Monday, people gathered at the Lincoln memorial to remember the historic date.

“We have a black man in office,” said Sampson Daruvalla, a District resident. “None of that would have been able to take place if we did not have the Emancipation Proclamation.”

Also Monday, representatives from the Pentagon and Civil War re-enactors gathered near Sharpsburg, Maryland to mark the anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Antietam.

It was the bloodiest battle ever to take place on U.S. soil. Historians say the battle eventually led President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

More than 23,000 men were reported killed, wounded or missing at Antietam. The battle was a turning point in the war and the Confederates retreated to Virginia the next day.

Historians says Lincoln considered it a sign of divine approval for preserving the Union and freeing the slaves.