On this day, December 31, 1862, Lincoln signed at least two documents, the most significant of which was the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1, 1863. In addition, he signed the West Virginia statehood bill, which lead to West Virginia becoming the 35th state on June 20, 1863.
Unfortunately, the public viewing of the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives ended on January 1, 2013, but there are programs scheduled for the rest of the year. In addition, PBS premiered the three-part documentary “The Abolitionists on January .”
West Virginia’s Division of Culture and History put together a useful website featuring sesquicentennial events is worth checking out.