Emancipation Proclamation to be in Nashville Feb. 12-18

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Emancipation Proclamation will be on view at the Tennessee State Museum Feb. 12 -18. The document, which is making its only southeastern U.S. stop in Nashville, will only be on view for 72 hours over the seven days. After that, a facsimile of the document will be in the exhibit. The viewing is in conjunction with the Discovering the Civil War exhibition from Washington D.C.’s National Archives.


President Abraham Lincoln signed the document in 1863 proclaiming all those enslaved in Confederate territory to be forever free.

2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"It is an incredible honor for Tennessee to host the Emancipation Proclamation, a document whose significance to the history of this country, and this region in particular, cannot be overstated," according to The Honorable Bill Haslam, governor of the Volunteer State. "This delicate manuscript represents America’s recognition that all are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and we invite people from across the Southeast and the nation to see and celebrate with us the moment our country officially became the land of the free."

Museum officials estimate that 300 people will be able to see the document each hour. However, time periods will be built in so that when no reservations are sold, lines can catch-up if they are running behind, or to let more people walk in if the line is running on time.

The Discovering the Civil War  exhibit will continue at the museum through September 1, 2013. Many of the other items on display have never been publicly exhibited. Highlights include the original copy of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery along with South Carolina’s 1860 declaration of secession. This popular traveling exhibit is free to the public, and the State Museum will be the last stop before these historic documents return to Washington D.C.

The exhibit is divided into 12 thematic areas that combine great original treasures, engaging touch screen interactive, and social media tools, all selected to illustrate the breadth of the conflict and to ask, "How do we know what happened?”

Reservations are on sale through TPAC Ticketing which has ticket windows on site in the same building as the museum. Visitors may obtain a reservation at the windows; going online to www.tpac.org; or by calling a local Nashville number 615-782-4040. There will be a handling charge of $1.00 paid to TPAC Ticketing for each reservation. There is no admission charge to see the document.

For additional updates on the Emancipation Proclamation and Discovering the Civil War, visit the museum’s website at www.tnmuseum.org. Discovering the Civil War was created by the National Archives and Records Administration and the Foundation for the National Archives.

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