The Original Emancipation Proclamation Will Be On Permanent Display at the National Archives

The Original Emancipation Proclamation Will Be On Permanent Display at the National Archives

The original Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, will be on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, and Black people lined up to get a glance, ABC News reports.

For the second year in a row, Black people from all over the country spent their Juneteenth in the nation’s capital to view in person the Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 documents that set slaves in the South free after the Civil War. Two years later, a union general informed slaves in Galveston, Texas, that they were free—on a day now celebrated as Juneteenth. After President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law in 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday.

The fragile documents are normally kept in a climate-controlled vault with limited light exposure in order to preserve them. Now the National Archives is looking to make the rare public display a permanent feature. The plan is to place it alongside the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Colleen Shogan, archivist of the United States, said, “Together, they tell a more comprehensive story of the history of all Americans and document progress in our nation’s continuous growth toward a more perfect union.”

Parents in particular took the time to describe the document’s significance and why seeing it on Juneteenth was so important. “There have been struggles of equality and continued struggles that are present, and it’s connected. If we don’t have those conversations, we’re just going to repeat them,” visitor Beth Short said. Others, like Garrett Osumah, who is raising three Black boys, told The Washington Post he chooses to educate his sons about racism in American rather than shield them from it. “We have three young Black men,” said Osumah. “They need to understand that these things happened in the world and it’s not just back in the 1800s. These types of things are happening now.”