ACWSC to "Let Freedom Ring" to Celebrate End of Slavery





LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is sponsoring activities to celebrate the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, as part of its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, ACWSC Chairman Tom Dupree announced today.

“The Arkansas General Assembly voted to approve the 13th Amendment on April 14, 1865,” Dupree said. “This was one of the most important milestones of the American Civil War and we want to celebrate it with our ‘Let Freedom Ring’ activities.”

Planned activities include:

* On April 14, 2015, the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is asking churches, public buildings, educational institutions, and individuals around the state to ring bells 13 times at 1300 hours (1 p.m.) to celebrate passage of the 13th Amendment. The Commission will hold a bell-ringing event at that time on the steps of the State Capitol in Little Rock. Those planning to participate in the bell-ringings around the state will be listed on the ACWSC website at

* On the morning of Saturday, April 18, 2015, the Old State House Museum in Little Rock will hold a living history event to celebrate the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m., the Old State House Museum and Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will host a three-hour seminar: “Emancipation and Reconstruction.” Speakers will include Dr. Thomas A. DeBlack on the end of the Civil War in Arkansas, Angela Walton-Raji on the emancipation of the state’s enslaved population, and Dr. Carl Moneyhon on Reconstruction in Arkansas. The seminar is free, but pre-registration is requested. Contact Georganne Sisco at (501) 324-9685 or to register.

* The ACWSC is inviting people from all over Arkansas to record recitations of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be placed on its “Let Freedom Ring” YouTube Channel. There are two ways to submit 13th Amendment videos to the ACWSC. First, you can upload your video to your own YouTube channel, and send us a link to the video via e-mail. Second, short videos can be e-mailed directly to us and we will upload them to our own YouTube channel. Submissions should be sent to 

* “Let Freedom Ring” Travel Grants of up to $500 are available through the Arkansas Humanities Council to assist school groups in visiting either the ‘Freedom! Oh, Freedom!’ exhibit at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock or Freedom Park and the Delta Cultural Center in Helena-West Helena – both sites providing interpretation of the African American experience in Civil War Arkansas. Deadlines are the first of each month through November 2015. Applicants must contact the museum they choose to visit to schedule their field trip prior to applying for the grant. Admission to both museums are free. For information regarding the “Let Freedom Ring” Travel Grants, please contact Jama Best, Senior Program Officer, Arkansas Humanities Council, 407 President Clinton Avenue, Suite 201, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 320-5761 or, or visit

The 13th Amendment says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

For more information on sesquicentennial plans, visit or e-mail

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is housed within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.


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