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National Archives To Display Emancipation Proclamation and ‘Juneteenth’ General Order No. 3, June 18–20

21 May 2024 7:43 AM | Anonymous

The following is a press release issued by the (U.S.) NationalArchives and Records Administration:

The original Emancipation Proclamation will be on display, along with General Order No. 3, at the National Archives in Washington, DC, from June 18 to 20, 2024. Special extended exhibit hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Timed ticket entry is available but not required. Reserve a ticket at

“The Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 are fundamental to understanding our nation’s history,” said Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan. “Together, these records represent a pivotal moment in America’s pursuit of a more perfect union. I’m proud to have them on display at the National Archives as we celebrate Juneteenth, and I look forward to adding the Emancipation Proclamation permanently to the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives Rotunda soon.”

In celebration of Juneteenth and the viewing of the Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3, join us on Tuesday, June 18, at 3 p.m. ET in the McGowan Theater for interactive performances. Verbal Gymnastics Playback Theater  will engage the audience with innovative storytelling. Come share stories of what Juneteenth means to you and see how the theater group’s actors, musicians, and storytellers creatively use improvisation to play back what is shared. This event is free and open to the public.

Please check our website for additional information.

The National Archives Building in Washington, DC, is located on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Free admission and fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Reserve timed entry tickets on

The Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 Featured Document Presentation is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Boeing Company.

Featured Document Display: The original Emancipation Proclamation
East Rotunda Gallery
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached the third year of the Civil War. Lincoln’s proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free,” was “a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing rebellion.” The Proclamation also declared the acceptance of Black men into military service. By the war’s end, almost 200,000 Black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom. 

As a first step, the Emancipation Proclamation promised freedom and a new beginning for several million Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. It recognized the moral force behind the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery’s final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of the nation.

Related Featured Document Display: ‘Juneteenth’ General Order No. 3
West Rotunda Gallery
The freedom promised in the Emancipation Proclamation was finally delivered to 250,000 people who remained enslaved in Texas two and a half years after President Lincoln’s historic proclamation and two months after Union victory in the Civil War. On June 19, 1865, U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, which informed the people of Texas that all enslaved persons in the state were now free. This day has come to be known as Juneteenth, a combination of June and 19th. It is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, and it is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Emancipation, however, was not a singular event in United States history. There were many emancipation days as enslaved people obtained their freedom in the decades spanning American independence through the Civil War. They were an important element of the abolition movement, which fought to end slavery and liberate the millions held in bondage across the country. That goal was not fully realized until December 6, 1865, when the requisite number of states ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, legally ending slavery in the United States. 

While Juneteenth was initially celebrated primarily by people in African American communities in Texas, nearly all states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as an official state holiday or observance. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. 

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