Press Release
Press Release · Friday, January 15, 1999

Press Release
September 30, 1998
Emancipation Proclamation on Display at the National Archives in January 1999 Washington, D.C. ... Due to the overwhelming response to the display of the Emancipation Proclamation in past years, the National Archives and Records Administration again will display the original Emancipation Proclamation in the Rotunda from Friday, January 15, 1999, through Thursday, January 21, 1999. The National Archives Rotunda will be open on Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Monday, January 18, 1999.

The exhibition will be free and open to the public. The document will be displayed in a free-standing case located in the National Archives Rotunda, at Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, from 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. daily.

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. Many historians credit the Emancipation Proclamation with changing the character of the Civil War from a struggle to preserve the Union to a crusade for human liberty. The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a significant milestone leading to the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865, formally outlawing slavery throughout the nation.

During January and February 1999, the National Archives will present lecture and film series that will focus on issues related to civil rights and black history. All of these programs are free and open to the public. For additional information on these and other programs at the National Archives, please call (202) 501-5000.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.


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