“Thenceforward and forever free”: Emancipation Proclamation comes to Henry Ford Museum, June 20-22

Emancipation Proclamation - page 5; National Archives, General Records of the U.S. Government

Next week, we are privileged to have the extremely rare opportunity to display the original Emancipation Proclamation, right inside Henry Ford Museum.

Because of the document’s fragility, it can only be displayed for a short amount of time, so the museum will be open – free of charge, and around the clock – starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 20 until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, with special performances and readings of the proclamation throughout.

We are thrilled to host this important American document not only for its historical significance, but also because of the setting – the Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed just steps away from many other iconic artifacts of African-Americans’ struggle for freedom, including the Rosa Parks bus, a copy of the 13th Amendment and many others, right here in Metro Detroit.

For an additional perspective on this document’s significance to our region, check out today’s Pure Michigan blog post, written by our own chief information officer, Mike Butman. Mike grew up in downtown Detroit during the race riots of the late 1960s, and as a teenager, he traveled to Washington, D.C.  to see the Emancipation Proclamation in person and feel its full impact. Next week, you’ll have the chance to do the same – right here in Dearborn.

Aside from declaring all persons free, what other types of impact do you feel the Emancipation Proclamation has had on us as a nation?


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