Article Photos: Watch Nights mark Emancipation Proclamation 150th 2/3

FILE - This Feb. 9, 2009 file photo shows the first draft of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln presented to his full cabinet on July 22, 1862, displayed at the Library of Congress in Washington. As New Year's Day approached 150 years ago, all eyes were on President Abraham Lincoln in expectation of what he warned 100 days earlier would be coming _ his final proclamation declaring all slaves in states rebelling against the Union to be âforever free.âA tradition began on Dec. 31, 1862, as many black churches held Watch Night services, awaiting word that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation would take effect as the country was in the midst of a bloody Civil War. Later, congregations listened as the president's historic words were read aloud. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)