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Black History Month honored by National Archives with Emancipation Proclamation

To honor Black History Month, an important historical document was put out on public display. For three days this month, the original Emancipation Proclamation was displayed at the National Archives in Washington.

National Archives honors Black History Month with Emancipation Proclamation exhibit
National Archives honors Black History Month with Emancipation Proclamation exhibit
National Archives

Though the archives put out the document in honor of Black History month, the document can’t be seen for that entire duration of time. The archives states that each year the documents can only be out for a short period because the documents are already in a fragile state and prolonged exposure to light would cause further damage and compromise the historical document . In order to preserve this piece of history, it stays out of view most of the time. Presidents Day marked the last day it was on view.

The Emancipation Proclamation was instituted Jan. 1, 1863. Through the proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln set forth to free all people who had previously lived as slaves. Though it wasn’t an instant fix-all to ending slavery, the document played an essential role in beginning to end slavery in the United States and is an integral part of American history.

The document was displaying in the new ‘Records of Rights’ permanent exhibit, which details the evolutions of different freedoms and rights through history.