History lesson in Lancaster
BY BERNARD HARRIS, Staff Writer
Lancaster City Council members got a history lesson Tuesday night.
Millerville University professor and local historian Leroy Hopkins told the city's legislative panel that the emancipation proclamation, which went into effect 150 years ago, was a military action of President Abraham Lincoln.
The executive order freed only the slaves in states in rebellion against the union. That is, it applied only in the Confederate states, which the north was then fighting in the Civil War.
And, Hopkins noted, the proclamation was an empty promise. It could not be enforced until the north won that war.
Still, the proclamation opened the door to the permanent end of slavery, paving the way for the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution two years later.
The passage of that law was depicted in the current film "Lincoln."
The history primer came with the passage of a City Council resolution commemorating the 150th anniversary of the proclamation.
Tuesday, council members also approved the annual resolution in support of February as Black History Month.
n In other business, council members voted to approve a state grant application for as much as $100,000 from the Governor's Center for Local Government Services Early Intervention Program.
The grant, which requires a 100 percent local match, will be used to purchase electronic equipment for city Public Works staff. The satellite-based GIS hardware and software will allow workers to pinpoint locations for fire hydrants, utility poles, sewer inlets and other infrastructure.