Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It's not very often a place like a museum stays open around the clock. The Henry Ford Museum changed this over a 36-hour period this week.

Civil War buffs and history aficionados packed the museum this week to get a glimpse of a living piece of one of America's darkest and finest hours.

The Emancipation Proclamation, the document ensuring the freedom of slaves during the Civil War, was on display from 7 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Wednesday at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.

President Lincoln's executive order declared that all all slaves being held in Confederate states would be free. The document laid the groundwork for the 13th Amendment, which officially abolished slavery in United States.

Brian James Egen, manager of special programs and equine operations at The Henry Ford, as well as a Civil War Historian, was enthralled with the museum being host to the document. "It is truly awesome to have such a significant document within the walls of the museum" said Egen. "We're hoping to share this treasure with as many people as possible."

Damon Garascia of Livonia spoke of the historical perspective of viewing the proclamation. "It's really cool to see a document that's over 100 years old and that made such a difference for this country" said Garascia.
The viewing also played host to a number of events including readings from the proclamation, live music and Civil War reenactments held on the lawn of the museum. A copy of the 13th amendment was also presented next to the proclamation for perusal.

Maggie Hodge of Brownstown was excited to see the proclamation in her own backyard. "I think it's awesome to see such a historical document outside of the nation's capitol."