FYI January 31 & February 01, 2021

On This Day

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. The amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the required 27 of the then 36 states on December 6, 1865 and proclaimed on December 18. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863 declared that the enslaved in Confederate-controlled areas were free. When they escaped to Union lines or federal forces—including now-former slaves—advanced south, emancipation occurred without any compensation to the former owners. Texas was the last Confederate territory reached by the Union army. On June 19, 1865—Juneteenth—U.S. Army general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to proclaim the war had ended and so had slavery. In the slave-owning areas controlled by Union forces on January 1, 1863 state action was used to abolish slavery. The exceptions were Kentucky and Delaware where slavery was finally ended by the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865.

In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment has rarely been cited in case law, but has been used to strike down peonage and some race-based discrimination as “badges and incidents of slavery”. The Thirteenth Amendment has also been invoked to empower Congress to make laws against modern forms of slavery, such as sex trafficking.

Since 1804, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery. Slavery was implicitly recognized in the original Constitution in provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, commonly known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, which provided that three-fifths of each state’s enslaved population (“other persons”) was to be added to its free population for the purposes of apportioning seats in the United States House of Representatives and direct taxes among the states.

Though three million Confederate slaves were in fact freed by Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, their post-war status was uncertain. To ensure the abolition was beyond legal challenge, an amendment to the Constitution to that effect was initiated. On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865. The measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Northern states, along with a sufficient number of border states (slave states not part of the Confederacy) up to the assassination of President Lincoln. However, the approval came vía his successor, President Andrew Johnson, who encouraged the “reconstructed” Southern states of Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia to agree, which brought the count to 27 states, leading to its adoption before the end of 1865.

Though the Amendment abolished slavery throughout the United States, some Black Americans, particularly in the South, were subjected to other forms of involuntary labor, such as under the Black Codes, as well as subjected to white supremacist violence, and selective enforcement of statutes, besides other disabilities.

1848 – John C. Frémont is court-martialed for mutiny and disobeying orders.
John Charles Frémont or Fremont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890) was an American explorer, military officer, and politician. He was a U.S. Senator from California, and in 1856 was the first Republican nominee for President of the United States. A native of Georgia, he was an opponent of slavery.

During the 1840s, Frémont led five expeditions into the Western United States, during which time he and his men committed a number of massacres against Native Americans. During the Mexican–American War, Frémont, a major in the U.S. Army, took control of California from the California Republic in 1846. Frémont was convicted in court-martial for mutiny and insubordination after a conflict over who was the rightful military governor of California. After his sentence was commuted and he was reinstated by President Polk, Frémont resigned from the Army. Afterwards, Frémont settled in California at Monterey while buying cheap land in the Sierra foothills. When gold was found on his Mariposa ranch, Frémont became a wealthy man during the California Gold Rush. Frémont became one of the first two U.S. senators elected from the new state of California in 1850. Frémont was the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party, carrying most of the North. He lost the 1856 presidential election to Democrat James Buchanan when Know Nothings split the vote.

At the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861, he was given command of Department of the West by President Abraham Lincoln. Although Frémont had successes during his brief tenure there, he ran his department autocratically, and made hasty decisions without consulting President Lincoln or Army headquarters. He issued an unauthorized emancipation edict and was relieved of his command for insubordination by Lincoln. After a brief service tenure in the Mountain Department in 1862, Frémont resided in New York, retiring from the Army in 1864. Frémont was nominated for president in 1864 by the Radical Democracy Party, a breakaway faction of abolitionist Republicans, but he withdrew before the election. After the Civil War, Frémont lost much of his wealth in the unsuccessful Pacific Railroad in 1866, and lost more in the Panic of 1873. Frémont served as Governor of Arizona from 1878 to 1881. After his resignation as governor, Frémont retired from politics and died destitute in New York City in 1890.

Historians portray Frémont as controversial, impetuous, and contradictory. Some scholars regard him as a military hero of significant accomplishment, while others view him as a failure who repeatedly defeated his own best purposes. The keys to Frémont’s character and personality, several historians argue, lie in his having been born illegitimately, ambitious drive for success, self-justification, and passive–aggressive behavior.[1][2] His direct involvement in the California genocide of Native Americans throughout the state has also contributed to the degradation of his legacy. A biographer, Allan Nevins, wrote that Frémont lived a dramatic life, of remarkable successes and dismal failures.



Born On This Day

1897 – Denise Robins, English journalist and author (d. 1985)
Denise Robins (née Denise Naomi Klein; 1 February 1897 – 1 May 1985)[1] was a prolific English romantic novelist and the first President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (1960–1966). She wrote under her first married name and under the pen-names: Denise Chesterton, Eve Vaill, ‘Anne Llewellyn’, Hervey Hamilton, Francesca Wright, Ashley French, Harriet Gray and Julia Kane, producing short stories, plays, and about 170 Gothic romance novels. In 1965, Robins published her autobiography, Stranger Than Fiction. At the time of her death in 1985, Robins’s books had been translated into fifteen languages and had sold more than one hundred million copies. In 1984, they were borrowed more than one and a half million times from British libraries.[2]

She was the daughter of the novelist K. C. Groom, and mother of romance novelist Patricia Robins. Some other members of her family are well-known artists.


1928 – Irma Wyman, American computer scientist and engineer (d. 2015)
Irma M. Wyman (January 31, 1928 – November 17, 2015) was an early computer engineer and the first woman to become vice president of Honeywell, Inc. She was a systems thinking tutor and was the first female CIO of Honeywell.

Academic life
In 1945, Wyman received a Regents Scholarship and was accepted into the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan as one of seven female students. To supplement her scholarship, she worked as a switchboard operator and waitress.

At the time, women in engineering programs received little encouragement and support. While her grades qualified her for membership in Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, she received only a “Women’s Badge”, since the society did not admit women at the time. Wyman graduated with a Bachelor of Science/EM degree in 1949.

Computing Future Thought Leadership

While still a junior in college, Wyman worked on a missile guidance project at the Willow Run Research Center. To calculate trajectory, they used mechanical calculators. She visited the U.S. Naval Proving Ground where Grace Hopper was working on similar problems and discovered they were using a prototype of a programmable Mark II computer developed at Harvard University. She became interested in computers and later recalled that “I became an enthusiastic pioneer in this new technology and it led to my life’s career.”

After graduation, she joined a start-up company that was eventually acquired by Honeywell Information Systems. She moved to Minneapolis and began a long management career at Honeywell, eventually serving as Chief Information Officer. She became vice president of Honeywell Corporate Information Management (CIM) before retiring in 1990.[1]

Wyman then began a second career as archdeacon in the Minnesota Diocese of the Episcopal Church where she coached servant leadership, retiring again after ten years as Archdeacon of the Diocese of Minnesota.

Wyman supported research and planning as a thought leader in futures studies. As an aside to this, she contended to an interviewer in 1979, that

it’s just as important to know when to ignore all the careful planning and seize an opportunity.

Wyman endowed the Irma M. Wyman Scholarship at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women to support women in engineering, computer science and related fields.[1] Irma’s persistent advocacy for women in computer science reflects those of her early career mentor:

The most important thing I’ve accomplished … is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, ‘Do you think we can do this?’ I say, “Try it.” And I back ’em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ’em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.[2]

Awards and Honors
Michigan Engineering Alumni Society Medal – 2001
Honorary Doctor of Engineering, University of Michigan – 2007

We never get a second chance to make a first impression. (1983–1987)

When sponsoring Honeywell’s innovative Corporate Information Management Information Security Awareness Program (ISAP).



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