Transferred post, Orginator: kl3640
Cat, I'll take your bait:
1) Abraham Lincoln most certainly did free the slaves legally via the Emancipation Proclamation, in the states that were in rebellion against the US government. The question is: What is meant by "freed." True that freeing slavery was far from his primary interest, and that the EP itself did not physically free the slaves - but it provided the legal grounds for the abolition of the institution of slavery and and for black people to be free of slavery legally, not just physically because they escaped to the North and because Northerns chose not to re-enslave them. If anything, the real myth is that the Civil War was fought over slavery. It most certainly was NOT fought over slavery and Lincoln's interest in writing the EP was to make the war seem as though it was more related to slavery than it was (probably to further prevent the European powers from siding with the CSA); however, Lincoln's EP did legally (as recognized by the USA, not the CSA) end slavery in the States that were in rebellion against the Federal Government. In the end it may have been the formality required to recognize physical reality and to create the incentive for future runaways, but in so far as slavery was a documented and organized institution (as opposed to simply physical reality), the EP acted to end the insitution with as much effectiveness as any other non-physical entity had any effect on slavery (i.e., the 3/5ths compromise, etc...). Paraphrasing what others have written, "Lincoln did not have the power to end slavery in the rebel states, but he did have the authority with respect to the Federal government [and the power, so long as the North went on to win the war eventually]."
2) Columbus did discover America - just not first
Neither did Leif Ericson. There were brown skinned people living here for a long, long time before - perhaps having crossed a frozen Bering Straight, or having come North over land from South/Central America after ocean voyages from the Eastern Hemisphere...noone really knows for sure.
3) The minivans don't throw kids out the windows - irritated parents do