Senate Apologizes for Slavery

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2009 1:45 PM CDT
Slave quarters at the Hampton Mansion in Towson, MD.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Senate today apologized for slavery and civil rights abuses against African-Americans, CNN reports. The unanimous gesture—it comes on the eve of Juneteenth, which marks the end of the Civil War—carries a disclaimer that it's not meant to authorize reparations, notes the Chicago Tribune. The House will vote on its own measure, but because it's a non-binding resolution, it won't require the signature of the nation's first black president.

"In the nearly 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, America has taken serious and sincere steps to heal the deep wounds of one of history's greatest crimes against humanity,'' said Harry Reid. "This resolution is another one of those steps.''