NORWICH HISTORICAL RELEVANCE
The Emancipation Proclamation celebration
in 1863 symbolized the support in Norwich for ending slavery. When the Emancipation Proclamation was announced, it received
support from William A. Buckingham, then Governor of Connecticut, and from the Mayor and City Council of Norwich.
Lloyd Greene, Republican mayor of Norwich, ordered the bells of the city to be rung for one hour and a one hundred gun salute
fired in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 2, 1863.
This is believed to be the first public celebration of the Proclamation in the State of Connecticut. Norwich
felt a personal tie to Abraham Lincoln in part due to his appearance here on March 9, 1860, prior to his nomination as the
Republican candidate for president. Buckingham was a firm supporter of Lincoln and of the Emancipation Proclamation, as was
Mayor Greene. The celebration in January 1863 was an important symbolic gesture recognizing this defining moment in our nation’s
history, and bespeaking the enthusiasm of most citizens.