On this day in history, in 1865, the 13th Amendment took effect, formally abolishing slavery in the United States and edging the nation toward the era of Radical Reconstruction. I have half a mind to compose a long post on this subject, but I’ve already written too much for one day. So instead I’m going to work on my book. But you really should look at this incredibly cool website, which includes some amazing documents. This one is also excellent.

Update: Oh, also the Mayflower landed on this day in 1620.