Museum Holds Lottery For Emancipation Proclamation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee State Museum is holding a lottery drawing for schools that want to bring their students to see the original Emancipation Proclamation during a rare visit to the state next year.
The document is rarely exhibited because of sensitivity to light, but it will be on display in the state museum for seven days in February.
The museum is reserving some of the viewing time for public and private school groups, but due to the huge interest, museum officials will hold a lottery to allocate the limited visiting times.
Teachers can sign up online at TSM-lottery.com, and entries for the lottery will close on November 27.
A replica of the Emancipation Proclamation will be on display after the original document returns to the National Archives.
The proclamation is an order signed by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in 1863. In the document, Lincoln proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the United States.
Issued 150 years ago this week, an initial proclamation to free Southern slaves is enjoying a public showcase to match its increased profile among scholars.
Lincoln released his lesser-known preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862 - 100 days before the final version. The first of the two documents has gained importance among historians as a turning point in the Civil War.
Edward Ayers is a historian and president of the University of Richmond. He says slavery and its abolition were once treated as minor parts of the Civil War, but that began to change after the Civil Rights movement.
The official government copy of the preliminary proclamation goes on display in New York on Saturday, while other commemorations of emancipation kicked off earlier this week.