COMMENT As expected, the film Lincoln - the story of American President Abraham Lincoln and the struggle to end slavery in the United States in the 1860s - did well in the recent Academy Awards, with Daniel Day-Lewis winning the “Best Actor” accolade.

The year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was signed by President Lincoln on Jan 1, 1863. Soon after Lincoln won the presidential election on Nov 6, 1860 on an anti-slavery platform, South Carolina voted to secede from the United States on Dec 20, 1860 in protest. Ten other states followed.