Ceremony begins Jan. 1 at Craven County Courthouse, ends at N.C. History Center
Tryon Palace will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution with a free ceremony Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, at noon outside the Craven County Courthouse. After the commemoration at the courthouse, the ceremony will move to the North Carolina History Center for a reception from 1-2 p.m.
A 100-4 House vote at the North Carolina State Capitol on Dec. 4, 1865, made North Carolina the next-to-last state needed to approve the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude, and provided for the enforcement of the law by appropriate legislation.
The celebratory event will feature patriotic music, historical reenactments with costumed characters and a dramatic reading of the 13th Amendment. The keynote speaker for the event will be Florida State Supreme Court Justice James Perry, a New Bern native and graduate of J.T. Barber High School. Other noted speakers for the event include historian David Cecelski, author of the book “Fire of Freedom,” and Catherine Bishir, author of “Crafting Lives,” a comprehensive study of New Bern’s early African American history.
Immediately following the program a reception will be held at the Tryon Palace History Center located at 529 South Front Street, New Bern. The North Carolina History Center will also serve as the rain backup location for the commemoration ceremony.