200-year-old bubbly receives rave reviews

Champagne lost in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea two centuries ago — recently recovered and uncorked in Finland — was described by an expert who tasted the vintage bubbly as “lyrical, detecting hints of chanterelles and linden blossom.”

Clearly, Cold Duck this was not.

Billed as the world’s oldest champagne, the bubbly — of the brands Veuve Clicquot and the now defunct Juglar — was recovered from a shipwreck discovered in July near the Aland Islands, between Sweden and Finland. A total of 168 bottles were raised in the salvage operation, according to The Associated Press.

“All bottles are not intact but the majority are in good condition,” said Britt Lundeberg, cultural minister of the Aland’s Islands, a semiautonomous Finnish archipelago.

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The amendment that sought to save slavery

On this date 145 years ago, the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, officially abolishing slavery in the United States, was adopted.

Introduced by Representative James Mitchell Ashley (R-Ohio), the amendment was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House on Jan. 31, 1865.

President Abraham Lincoln took an active role in working for its passage through the House by ensuring the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the 1864 Presidential elections.

The Thirteenth Amendment completed the abolition of slavery, which had begun with the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln in 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery in seceded states, but not the slave states that had remained in the Union.

Interestingly, there were two earlier amendments proposed by Congress that would have become the Thirteenth Amendment if they’d been ratified. 

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