Press/Journalists

Press Release
January 10, 2006

Press Preview for National Archives Display of the Emancipation Proclamation

WHAT:
The only opportunity to photograph the special display of the original Emancipation Proclamation before it opens to the public.

WHEN:
Friday, January 13, 2006, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:
Rotunda Gallery, National Archives Building
The media should use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.

PLEASE NOTE: NO ARTIFICIAL LIGHT MAY BE USED ON THE DOCUMENT.

The document will be on public display Friday, January 13, through Monday, January 16, 10 a.m.– 5:30 p.m.

The public should use the Constitution Avenue entrance between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.

BACKGROUND:
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War, formally proclaiming the freedom of all slaves held in areas still in revolt. The issuance of this Proclamation clarified and strengthened the position of the Union government, decreased the likelihood of European support of the Confederacy and, as the Union armies extended their occupation of the southern states, brought freedom to the slaves in those states. The Proclamation invited black men to join the Union Army and Navy, resulting in the enlistment of approximately 200,000 freed slaves and free black people before the War's end.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it placed the issue squarely on top of the wartime agenda. It added moral force to the Union cause and was a significant milestone leading to the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865, formally outlawing slavery throughout the nation.

The Emancipation Proclamation linked the preservation of American constitutional government to the end of slavery, and has become one of our country’s most treasured documents.

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If you plan to attend or need more information, please call the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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