Quotes from President Ronald Reagan's Speeches
with reference to the Emancipation Proclamation


Remarks at a White House Meeting With Reagan-Bush Campaign Leadership Groups, October 7, 1985/archives/speeches/1985/100785b.htm

“We’re the party of Lincoln, born in the deep, rich soil of the plains, born and bred of hurdy-sturdy stock—the hardest working, most productive people in the world…To those in our inner cities, in our ghettos and barrios, we say, “Our progress cannot be complete until the dream is real for all” …Until they taste the emancipation of full economic justice and economic power.”



Remarks in Denver, Colorado, at the Annual Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, June 29, 1981 /archives/speeches/1981/62981a.htm

“I do not intend to let America drift further toward economic segregation…Just as the Emancipation Proclamation freed black people 118 years ago, today we need to declare an economic emancipation.”



Remarks at a Fundraising Dinner for Howard University, May 20, 1982 /archives/speeches/1982/52082c.htm

“James Madison said that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people. Well, it wasn't until 1867, in the aftermath of a tragic and violent war and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation that America gave birth to a new era and to Howard University…to fulfill the promise of Lincoln, serving the people who had waited so long to enjoy what was theirs by birthright.”



Remarks to Students From Hine Junior High School on Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1987 /archives/speeches/1987/021287b.htm

      • “For even in the bleakest moments, even when he [Lincoln] set his face grimly toward war, he was untouched by cynicism or loss of faith. Mr. Lincoln believed -- he believed in freedom, believed in the goodness and the ability of his heroes -- the people of this country.”
      • “That's the second lesson Mr. Lincoln can teach us: If you are in the right, ignore defeat. Persevere. For in persevering, Lincoln saved the Union and won freedom for more than one-tenth of the population that had been kept down in bondage.”
      • “Like all men, Lincoln was affected by the prejudices of his time -- even in his first years as President he held that, subject to certain conditions, slavery could never be tolerated. But Lincoln kept thinking; his understanding of human dignity deepened.”
      • “And then President Lincoln read the text of the Emancipation Proclamation, a document declaring that in the rebel States, all Americans, whatever their color, should be ‘…thenceforward and forever free.’”
      • “This is Lincoln's greatest lesson, this lesson in liberty. He understood that the idea of human liberty is bound up in the very nature of our nation. He understood that America cannot be America without standing for the cause of freedom.”



Mr. Coles, Teacher. RESPONSE to Reagan’s Remarks to Students From Hine Junior High School on Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1987 /archives/speeches/1987/021287b.htm

“[Reagan] also saw the need to remove shackles. These were the shackles of indifference toward education. President Lincoln's proclamation was used to unite the country, but President Reagan's proclamation was used to unite the minds. President Lincoln's proclamation can be found in any reference book, while President Reagan's proclamation is a living testament to the commitment of educational excellence.”