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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

Pottstown NAACP Vice President Attends 150th Anniversary of the Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

December 9, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) welcomed Pottstown NAACP Vice President Jonathan Corson and his wife, Paula Corson, to Capitol Hill to attend the Congressional Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. On December 6, 1865, the states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, affirming that “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." The amendment was adopted on December 18, 1865.  

The ceremony, held in Emancipation Hall in the United States Capitol Visitors Center, was hosted by Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid, and Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi. It was also attended by President Barack Obama, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Members of Congress, and African American community leaders from across the country.

Following the ceremony, Congressman Costello reflected on the importance of the Thirteenth Amendment: “Today, we celebrated the amendment that ushered in a ‘new birth of freedom’ and the opportunity for many to achieve a better life. As we were reminded during the ceremony, the Thirteenth Amendment is only 43 words long but is one of the most significant and powerful statements of our nation’s values. While I do often disagree with President Obama on policy matters, it was a historic occasion to be with Pottstown NAACP leaders as we watched the first African American President deliver remarks in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitors Center commemorating passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. I was very proud to have Pottstown be a part of the ceremony given the many civil rights leaders who’ve called Pottstown home throughout its history.”

View the entire ceremony here.