In a This Day in History video, learn that on July 28, 1868, the 14th amendment was adopted, guaranteeing citizenship to freed slaves. Former President Lincoln started the process with the Emancipation Proclamation, which led to slaves being freed. Former slaves were free but not equal; states passed laws called Black Codes to restrict their rights. The 14th amendment stated that African Americans were due the same rights and protections as all citizens. Today the Supreme Court still uses the 14th amendment to ensure civil rights to all citizens.